The COVID-19 pandemic period has seen a slew of complaints sent by aggrieved petitioners to the Tiruchi city police through WhatsApp to air their grievances and seeking action from the law enforcers.
Many complainants sent through the messaging App have been disposed of by the respective jurisdictional police officers after holding due inquiry into them.
Police sources say in the last five months since July, the city police had received 246 complainants from the general public through the dedicated WhatsApp number created by the police to enable petitioners make use of this technological facility instead of visiting the nearest police station to avoid venturing out during the pandemic period.
The social media cell of the city police which keeps track of the complainants received through the dedicated WhatsApp number forwards them to the respective jurisdictional police station for appropriate action.
“The complaints received from the general public have been varied in nature: from family dispute to those pertaining to dispute over financial transactions, vehicle theft, property dispute and hurt case,” said the Commissioner of Police J. Loganathan. The complainants write the petition containing the issue and scan them before sending through WhatsApp to the City Police seeking remedial action. Some complainants also send photographs along with their complaint.
Upon receipt of such complaints, field-level police personnel deal with them either by making an on the spot inquiry or try to redress them through the mass petition redressal mechanism. The City Police had so far disposed of 175 complaints received through WhatsApp since July with the remaining ones under inquiry. In one such complaint preferred by a petitioner pertaining to theft of his two-wheeler attaching a photograph of the vehicle, the City Police was quick in seizing the vehicle going by the identity given in the photograph while conducting vehicle checks, Mr. Loganathan said.
The complainants get a communication from the City Police and feedback to their mobile number regarding their complaint sent through WhatsApp. The response from the public in respect of sending complaints through WhatsAapp was encouraging, Mr. Loganathan further said.
The Police register a First Information Report if a cognizable offence was made out from the complaint in which case the petitioner concerned is called to the police station to obtain a written complaint. Although a host of relaxations have been announced now by the State government and public beginning to approach police station, the city police continued to receive complaints through WhatsApp especially from the elders, he said.