LUCKNOW: Doing rounds of police stations and having to grease palms to get a complaint registered in Uttar Pradesh’s thanas is passé now with the e-FIR a click away.
“Lodging an FIR has become extremely simple via the police website or by using the UP Cop App. In the last eight months, over 300 e-FIRs have been lodged and the number is increasing rapidly since it also facilitates verification of tenants and helpers hired by housewives. Even misbehaviour by cops can be reported online,” said Lucknow SSP Kalanidhi Naithani.
However, e-FIR can only be lodged in cases where culprits are unknown, especially, in cases of theft, loot, snatching, auto-lifting or on missing persons, said a cyber cell officer. Separate e-FIR counters have also been opened to make the public aware of the facility.
On the other hand, WhatsApp Digital Volunteer is another novel outreach initiative launched by the UP police.
“A network of ‘digital samaritans’ has been put in place to act as the eyes and ears of the police department and play a crucial role in busting fake news and in capping rumours,” said an official, part of the 12-member social media team of police officers at the DGP’s office.
The latest example of busting fake news doing rounds on social media was that of a boy from Chandauli district who allegedly was forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and on his refusal allegedly doused and set afire. “This rumour was nipped effectively,” said an official.
According to Rahul Srivastava, ASP, Technical Services and social media head for UP Police, the network launched in July 2018 comprises WhatsApp group for each of the 1,469 police stations across UP with over 3.5 lakh digital volunteers.
“Each group has 250 members from various sections of society like social workers, teachers, pradhans, student leaders, lawyers with the SHOs, DSPs and ASPs being part of it,” he said.