What were you wearing?
Why were you out so late?
Victims of sexual harassment who hesitate to file FIRs with police stations for fear of uncomfortable questions can now breathe easy.
From Thursday, complaints can be lodged online thanks to the initiative of Jamshedpur MP Ajoy Kumar, also a former police officer. The Kashidih-based office of the MP has started an email service for victims. Emails to firstname.lastname@example.org will be routed to email@example.com, so that senior superintendent of police (SSP) Akhilesh Kumar Jha can see them.
He said he had received “assurance from SSP Jha” that cases coming from the MP’s email would be routed that moment to respective police stations for immediate action.
A victim needs to mention the crime, the location, contact details as well as anything to help the probe. There is just one technicality — the email complaint should have a scanned photograph of the victim’s signature as an attachment.
“In view of recent tragic events (Delhi rape death), it’s a small step from my side to facilitate the process of FIR for the victim based on my experience as a policeman,” Kumar said.
Addressing the media at Circuit House, he said he had seen how terrified victims were while lodging the FIR.
“We have seen victims get nervous while registering complaints before policemen who might have asked uncomfortable questions. Now, they can lodge complaints from the comfort of their homes or cyber cafes and attach scanned copies of their signatures. The rest will be taken care of by our office staff,” he said.
Those not having access to a computer can submit complaints at the MP’s office in writing. They will be scanned and emailed to the SSP.
He said they would monitor complaints every fortnight and send the status of each case to the complainant. “If the police station concerned fails to act, we will take up the matter with SSP Jha,” he said.
Kumari Tilottama, in charge of the district’s sole mahila thana in Sakchi, welcomed the move. At the same time, she said girls were shedding fear and coming forward to lodge their complaints.