The Telangana Women Safety Wing is enhancing the manner in which women looking for help from the police can lodge complaints via its WhatsApp helpline (+919490616555).

With many women, both in rural and urban areas, reluctant to visit a police station to lodge a complaint when they face harassment, the Women Safety Wing is planning a new mobile app, which will have the existing complaint redressal system via WhatsApp integrated into it, so that women can lodge a detailed complaint via the app and the messaging platform, all without having to go to a police station.

The idea is to have readymade templates to collect all details necessary. After receiving a voice or video call or text message on the She Teams WhatsApp number, the officer in-charge can send the template via the app so that the complainant can fill in all details on the app or send it via WhatsApp itself.

After receiving a complaint, the complainant will also be given an option to decide whether the police should issue a First Information Report (FIR) against the suspect or counsel them. Depending upon the option adopted by the complainant, necessary action will be taken.

Even if the complainant opts to counsel the callers, the She Teams personnel will summon the suspect to their office and warn them about the serious consequences if they continue to harass anyone.

“We are planning to introduce the facility soon for the convenience of women in Cyberabad, Karimnagar and Nalgonda districts on a pilot basis,” Additional Director-General of Police (Women Safety Wing) Swati Lakra said.

Based on the response, the facility will be extended to the entire State, she said, adding that necessary training would be given to the She Teams personnel to effectively handle the new facility. The WSW is coming up with this facility as 60 per cent of the complaints from the women were related to harassment over phone.

Most of the complaints from women, apart from those on eve-teasing, were related to large numbers of blank and lewd calls.

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