To ensure that the safety of women is just a click away, the Hyderabad police have now introduced an initiative wherein women can lodge complaints through WhatsApp audio and video calls. Women no longer need to visit police stations to lodge complaints.
“In a lot of cases, we have witnessed that crimes, especially against women, do not get properly reported as not all women can come to the police stations to file their complaints. This could be due to multiple reasons, including household restrictions or them not knowing which police station they should go to, or sometimes, they are just scared to go to a police station. The new people-friendly initiative will now help them to lodge complaints without any hassle,” The New Indian Express quoted DIG, Women Safety Wing, B Sumathi, as saying.
According to Sumathi, SHE Team-related complaints such as eve-teasing or physical and cyber stalking, can be registered through the State’s SHE Team contact number. A text message will be sent to the complainant after the complaint is filed, confirming that their complaint has been filed.
Details of the complaint will also be sent to the concerned SHO. “Based on the gravity of the crime, the victim can decide to file an FIR,” added the official. “On a test basis, we will first start to accept complaints over audio calls, and in the next few weeks, we will also accept video calls,” Sumathi said.
As per the proposed plan, the initiative would also provide counselling to women. “After a complaint is lodged, we will immediately direct them to our counsellors, who will provide them with telephonic or video counselling,” the official added.
This initiative comes about a year after the gang-rape and murder of a 26-year-old veterinary doctor in Shamshabad, near Hyderabad, sparked outrage across India. Her body was found in Shadnagar on November 28, 2019, a day after she was murdered.
Four suspects were arrested and they confessed to having raped and killed the doctor, according to the Cyberabad Metropolitan Police.
On December 6, 2019, all the four suspects were killed in a police encounter.