The next time a police officer seeks a bribe or harasses you, don't feel frustrated. Help is at hand, literally in the form of your smartphone equipped with chat application WhatsApp
Apart from calling and registering a complaint, a recorded audio or video clip can be sent to the newly-launched helpline 9910641064 via the popular chat engine and action is taken within hours.
Since its launch Aug 6, action has been taken against three policemen.
"This helpline number is launched under the guidance of Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi to make the force corruption free," Additional Commissioner of Police (Vigilance) G.C. Dwivedi, under whose observation the helpline operates, told IANS.
"Officers found guilty are booked under section 7 (public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act) and section 13 (criminal misconduct by a public servant) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and other sections under the Indian Penal Code (IPC)," he added.
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Explaining the working of the 24x7 helpline launched by Delhi Police's vigilance department, a police officer said: "After we receive a clip with the evidence against an officer, we inform a senior about the complaint."
"We then call the complainant and get detailed information about the case while the clip is sent to the forensic science laboratory in Rohini to check its authenticity. If it's genuine, a complaint is registered and the guilty officer is arrested and suspended with immediate effect."
According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (Vigilance) Sindhu Pillai, within three days of its launch, the helpline has received 43 calls.
"We got 14 calls on the first day (Aug 6), the following day we got two complaints and 27 were received Aug 8," Pillai told IANS.
Pillai said of the total calls, only five were genuine and registered complaints while the rest were just blank calls possibly due to the curiosity among the people and lack of awareness.
"We have given advertisements in several Hindi and English newspapers as well as on nine FM channels... the on-air advertisements will continue till Aug 12," said Pillai.
"Those who are being harassed by a police officer must inform us... any police indiscipline will not be tolerated," Pillai told IANS.
The new helpline will work in tandem with the existing anti-corruption helpline - 1064 - which at present has four lines attended by at least 20 constables and head constables who work round the clock under the guidance of an inspector.
(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)