Bengaluru: The recent gang rape of a 22-year-old BPO employee has sent shockwaves across the city and question are being raised regarding the safety of women. While the city police are on their toes with the investigation, a false message regarding a new helpline went viral across social networking sites, sending them into a tizzy.
It stated that the police have launched a new service which would help them track the movement of taxi or auto availed by women. The message stated, “Bengaluru police have started a good service with a dedicated helpline for women. Before boarding the taxi or auto, SMS the vehicle number to +91 9969777888. You will get an acknowledgement via SMS. Vehicle will be traced via GPRS. Share with as many as you can. Help your sister, mother, wife and friends.”
Soon the city police’s official sites were flooded with queries regarding the authenticity of the message. The police on Saturday rubbished the report and clarified that they have not started any such service.
DCP Command Centre M.G. Nagendra told Deccan Chronicle, “We were shocked to see that the message went viral across all the social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. The police have taken note of it and a special team has been set up to look into the matter. We have also issued a clarification across all the online social media platforms that ‘The service is not started by Bengaluru police. Please ignore the message’.”
He further said, “Preliminary investigations reveal that the number stated in the message is a MTNL number of Mumbai. The service was started in Mumbai by the then police commissioner Rakesh Maria. Some mischief maker has changed the body of the subject to ‘Bengaluru police’. A team is on the lookout of the culprit and the place from where the message originated. It amounts to serious offence and soon the culprit will be nabbed.”
Meanwhile, after seeing the Bengaluru City police’s official page flooded with queries, the police top brass immediately took to Twitter to issue clarifications. Additional Commissioner of Police (West) Pratap Reddy tweeted, “Attached information doing the rounds about the services started by Bengaluru city police is not from city police. Believe posts from verified accounts. Keep your personal info safe.”