Patna police have started sending text alerts to complainants with the details of FIRs lodged with the cops so that the victims can store the information and use it whenever required.
The SMS alert system has been started at Jakkanpur police station. Within a few days, the station house officers (SHOs) of the police stations in Patna would have to follow the system too, said a senior officer on Friday.
Sunil Kumar, the deputy inspector-general, central range, said: “The SMS alert system has been started at the Jakkanpur police station. We will soon cover all the police stations in the district.”
The SHOs have been asked to “personally” ensure that once an FIR is lodged, its details like the FIR number, the date of lodging and the sections of the Indian Penal Code or Criminal Procedure Code that have been registered against the accused, are sent through SMS alerts on the mobile phones of the complainant.
The problem, however, remains that many who visit police stations have complained that cops are reluctant to lodge an FIR for reasons best known to them. Residents believe that the police have to willingly lodge FIRs to win the trust of the common man.
“The text alert system is a good move provided the police ensure that FIRs are encouraged. There are endless examples where the complainant has gone back because the police refused to lodge an FIR. This problem needs to be rooted out. Only then, the SMS system will be an advantage for the victims,” said Arvind Kumar, a resident of Patliputra.
A police officer agreed but said the SMS system will iron out the problem of cops refusing to lodge FIRs.
“We have heard of complaints that the police refused to lodge FIRs and the complainants had to make several rounds of police stations to lodge formal complaints. We have also heard that many a times even after lodging an FIR, the receipt (which consists of the FIR number), is not provided to the complainant. We have now taken up the initiative and have asked all police stations to lodge FIRs. The SMS system will help in the cause,” the officer said.
He added: “Almost everyone uses a cellphone these days. Many a times, we have noticed that people tend to lose the FIR receipt. Once lost, they have no proof that an FIR was lodged. They often fall prey to policemen who take advantage of the situation and deny further assistance. If the SMS is stored on the complainant’s cellphone, he/she can have the FIR number all the time. They can show it to any senior police officer whenever needed.”