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Being stalked? Send sms to 9459100100

The Himachal Pradesh Police seems to have come up with an effective initiative to tackle crimes against women in the state’s urban areas

Written by Ashwani Sharma | Shimla |
Updated: April 9, 2014 2:52:27 pm

The Himachal Pradesh Police seems to have come up with an effective initiative to tackle crimes against women in the state’s urban areas,particularly men stalking women — shifting the focus of the SMS alert service,started in 2010,to tackle such crimes.

As part of the scheme,a quick action team of the women constables swing into action immediately on receiving an SMS on the number (9459100100). They first counsel the man stalking a woman and then contact his parents with an FIR the final resort. The scheme also covers other crimes against women including domestic violence.

In the past six months of this year,22 FIRs have been registered based on the SMS alerts with most of the cases relating to eve-teasing and stalking of the girls. “In all,1,579 SMS were received from January 1,2013 till this week and almost all have been followed-up with action either at the state headquarters level or at the thana level in the districts. Of these,775 related to women harassment. Action is still under progress in 333 cases while others have been disposed off,” said state Director General of Police (DGP) B Kamal Kumar.

The service has become popular and trustworthy,says Satwant Atwal,DIG (crime ),who also heads the police committee on crimes against women. “Now,children are sending SMSes to complain against their own parents,especially fathers and even grand-parents regarding wife-beating. We have devised a three-tier Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for such cases of domestic violence and women harassment. Sending policemen from the thana is the last resort if things do not work on counselling,” Atwal says.

The lower number of FIRs is due to police intervention without the formal lodging of FIRs.

These cases,however,are also monitored by the committee.

The SMS service was started in May 2010 to tackle all crime and has been getting a better response with each passing year. In its inaugural year,889 SMSes were sent resulting in the registering of 16 FIRs,while in 2011,the number rose to 1,682 with 44 FIRs being lodged and in 2012,it further increased to 2,006 with 25 FIRs.

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