Hyderabad: Facebook and WhatsApp might be social networking means for the public, but women in Hyderabad, along with the City Police, are showing that these can be much more than just social media.
Several women, mostly reluctant to go through the rigmarole of going to a police station and lodging a complaint, are now using Facebook and WhatsApp to seek help from the police when they are stalked, harassed or troubled.
More than 10 per cent of the complaints lodged with the Hyderabad SHE Teams in 2016 were via these two platforms. The police too are using the same avenues to track and nab offenders, and ensure protection to women.
“Using the advantages technology gives us, we built a security cover around women through social media and mobile chat groups,” says D Kavitha, Assistant Commissioner of Police, She Team.
In a case registered at the Panjagutta police station couple of months ago, the police nabbed a man who was stalking a student when she was on her way to college on MMTS and on WhatsApp too. The girl alerted the police on their WhatsApp number (94906 16555). They took noted the details of the stalker and sent a patrol vehicle to the MMTS station. Using the same medium that the stalker used, the police began ‘stalking’ him, literally. Keeping him engaged on WhatsApp, they tracked him till he landed in their net, Sub-Inspector (Panjagutta) P Linga Reddy said.
In another case registered at the Vanasthalipuram police station on Wednesday, She Teams nabbed two persons who were harassing a girl by sending abusive messages on Facebook.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (Rachakonda) She Team M Snehitha said the police used Facebook to counter and nab the harassers. “It took us four days to track the suspects, but we did it. We contacted them through the victim’s Facebook account itself,” she said.
And this is being done more these days, with more than 40 per cent of the 800-odd cases registered by She Teams in Hyderabad over the last two years pertaining to stalking and harassment of women on social media.