Hazaribagh police will soon be just a few digital words away from the public.
The residents will be able to file complaints and register FIRs through SMSes from their mobile phones if an ambitious tech project pursued by superintendent of police (SP) Manoj Kaushik sees the light of the day.
Under the SP’s supervision, three professional engineers worked for the past three months to come up with a software that will enable denizens message their complaints to police. The software, which is now in the trial phase, will be put to use as soon as DGP Rajiv Kumar provides a date for its formal launch.
The first-of-its-kind initiative deserves appreciation at a time the state IT department has come up with a 24X7 toll-free helpline — 1967 — to respond to emergencies like quakes, floods, fires and accidents and also offences like harassment, kidnap and rape. The e-Rahat service, which was launched on Thursday, will see Ranchi police acting as the key bridge between the victim and the rescuer.
Speaking to The Telegraph on Friday afternoon, SP Kaushik said a number would be circulated among people for sending SMSes, sparing them of the trouble of visiting police stations to seek help. FIRs will be lodged in police stations concerned on the basis of the address mentioned in the SMS.
Complainants can also keep a tab on investigations. He or she will receive a complaint number and an entry number through an SMS. The sender can then follow up on the probes by sending another SMS with the complaint number. Normal SMS charges will be deducted.
The SP added that people could also use the service to inform police about any criminal activity in their areas, thereby help improve the law and order situation. The name of the sender will be kept confidential in such cases.
“As soon as a tip-off is received, police will swing into action and take appropriate action immediately. The service will make police more accessible and boost policing in the district,” Kaushik said.
The software will have the capacity to receive 5,00,000 SMSes a day. So, there will be no problem in handling huge flow of complaints, which is expected to increase manifold once the service is launched.
Kaushik has been continuously trying to make the men in khaki people-friendly. Last December, district police launched a helpdesk, again a first in Jharkhand, which takes down complaints in writing and forwards them to police stations concerned. Records show that around 3,500 people had approached the desk at the district collectorate in the past nine months. Of them, 2,700 cases have been disposed of.