RAIPUR: Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chhattisgarh police in Bilaspur district, 120 km east of Raipur, have launched a novel strategy on generating awareness on the rising tele-fraud and cyber crimes through instilling an understanding among the citizens on internet misdemeanour.
A week-long intensive drive — ‘Cyber Mitaan (Friend) Campaign', gets underway across the district to create awareness among the people on how to safeguard themselves from various identified and emerging modes of cybercrime and online fraud.
“There has been a perceptible rise in cybercrime during the ongoing crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic. During the nationwide lockdown and the unlock phases, many who were not even accustomed to the digital skills have begun accessing social media and carrying out online transactions.
Our aim is to let the people understand how they can be targeted or become vulnerable to tricks and tactics of various tele frauds and cybercrimes. Over 10000 volunteers including police personnel have been especially trained as Cyber-Rakshak for the campaign," said Prashant Agrawal, Bilaspur superintendent of police.
Pamphlets, literature, short riveting videos highlighting various do’s and don’t’s, and about the cyber fraudsters who tailored their offenses have been prepared for mass circulation.
Asserting a strong reason behind launching such a campaign the district police chief said that the cybercriminals operate beyond the boundaries of the district, state, or even country, consequently it becomes increasingly difficult for law enforcement agencies to catch hold of them and minimise such crimes.
“So the better option is prevention and protection by spreading awareness. Following strict Covid-19 protocols, we are attempting to reach out to 706 villages, all 7 towns, and every ward of Bilaspur district through organising small meetings, street plays, and door-to-door contacts, enlightening every individual”, Agrawal said. Several celebrities have come forward supporting the campaign.
How the campaign runs: Each police station has a Cyber Mitaan nodal officer with 20-30 ‘cyber leaders’ as policemen or volunteers.
Each cyber leader has been allocated 3-4 villages/ward an their areas of responsibility. One cyber leader trains and supervise around 25 Cyber Rakshaks.
Besides the policemen, active NGOs, various business and commercial associations, bankers, senior cadets of NCC/NSS and members of civil society groups constitute as the volunteers of the campaign, which will continue till September 8.