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NGOs unite on cyber crimes

- Cells to lodge complaints

Imphal, Feb. 23: A married man befriends a young girl through Facebook. On the third date, the man rapes her in an Imphal hotel after “spiking” her drink.

A jilted lover uploads an indecent photograph of his former flame on Facebook to “teach her a lesson”.

A 30-year-old man threatens through text messages and the social networking site to kill the family of a 14-year-old girl he met online, after she refused to meet him.

“These cases are only the tip of the iceberg. During this year alone, we have received reports of 10 serious cyber crimes. The families and victims do not know how to seek justice,” Sobita Mangsatabam, secretary of Women Action for Development, an NGO dealing with crimes against women, said.

To deal with the “growing” cyber crimes in Manipur, the NGO has joined hands with four other organisations to open two cyber crime cells, one here and the other at Moirang, 45km from Imphal in Bishnupur district.

Inspector-general of Manipur police Zone-I, Clay Khongsai, welcomed the move, noting that cyber crime had become a serious issue in the state.

The cells opened at the NGO office here and at the office of New Life Foundation (NLF), another NGO, at Moirang, will receive complaints and guide the victims in dealing with the situation.

“Our effort is part of a survey to gauge the seriousness of the problem in Manipur so that the government agencies, police, civil societies, intellectuals, among other, can jointly intervene to protect people from cyber crimes,” L. Pishak Singh, secretary of NLF, said.

Three other NGOs — United NGO Mission, Manipur, Centre for Social Development and North East Dialogue Forum, all based in Imphal, will help in the endeavour.

The NGOs’ line of action will be to conduct counselling sessions for the victims and parents and guide them in taking legal course to get justice and punish the culprits. The organisations have already engaged a lawyer.

The two cells will receive complaints personally in written form and also through email or phone.

While promising to keep identity of the victims concealed, the NGOs said they would pay the travel expenses of the victims and their families incurred by them on their journey to the cyber cells.

An official source said the police were yet to become fully equipped to fight cyber crimes. “Barring two small units in the offices of the superintendents of police of Imphal West and Imphal East, there is no other cell to monitor cyber crimes,” he said.

The NGOs urged the police to register such cases within 24 hours of complaint and cooperate with the organisations when such cases were brought to their notice.


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