50 years of Asia’s first all-women police station in Kerala’s Kozhikode

The police station was inaugurated by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1973 to prevent crimes against women

Representative image (photo: Getty Images)
Representative image (photo: Getty Images)

NH Digital

Asia’s first all-women’s police station in Kerala’s Kozhikode, inaugurated by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1973, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The PM had handed the station's first sub-inspector, M Padminiamma, a pen to sign the inaugural register.

Along with Mrs Gandhi, then Kerala governor NN Wanchoo, chief minister C Achutha Menon and home minister K Karunakaran were also present.

The golden jubilee celebrations of the station began on Monday, with 50 police officers donating blood to the blood bank at Women and Children’s Hospital at Kottaparamba. The event was inaugurated by mayor Beena Philip.

Half a century ago, the station was a small arrangement close to the city police commissioner’s office, with three head constables and 12 constables. Padminiamma, who retired as SP in 1995, recalled the historical moment from 23 October 1973, that would go on to shape the way women accessed law enforcement in Kerala.

Her successor Kuttiyamma was reportedly a nightmare for sexual harassers in the city. The station was later shifted to its own building on Pavamani Road in 1997, and inaugurated by then chief minister EK Nayanar.

Initially, officers at the station only had the power to receive complaints and investigate them. The station was allowed to register complaints in 1974 and the first case registered was that of three missing children, who were found. In the beginning, the station only took up cases in which the complainants as well as the respondents were women. Later, the rule was changed so that women could file their complaints against anyone at the station.

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