Women cops in Karnataka will no longer be seen wearing sarees. The state Director General Neelamani Raju has confirmed the replacement of sarees with pants and shirts along with belt and boots for the policewomen. The step was taken considering that western clothes help women react faster at a crime scene or during times of emergency as opposed to a saree.

Until now, women constabulary in the state had the option of either sarees or churidars on completion of five years in service. “Sarees were not compulsory, but now it has been done away with,” a senior police official told Times of India.

“Women personnel will now be able to work — maintaining law and order or managing traffic — in trousers and shirts like their male counterparts. The circular is based on an October 9 government order (GO) passed to this effect,” an official circular stated.

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“In a meeting on September 3, several women had said it’s difficult to work in sarees,” the circular reads. The move comes weeks after the Karnataka State Reserve Police replaced sarees and churidars with trousers and shirts for its 5,000-strong women in the force.

The circular also states that women constables should not wear any fancy jewellery. “Their hair must be combed properly and contained with a black band when it is not cut short. All hair accessories like pins, bands and clips must be black, and they cannot dye their hair any other colour but black,” it reads. Constables are prohibited from wearing flowers on their hair also.

IPS officer D Roopa lauded the decision to do away with sarees for women cops. She said the decision was taken keeping in mind the productivity of the force.

Feature Image Credit: Mid day

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