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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Dial ‘181’ from abroad to seek Punjab cops’ service

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  CHANDIGARH, August 22, 2013
First Published: 20:16 IST(22/8/2013) | Last Updated: 20:19 IST(22/8/2013)

If a non-resident Indian (NRI) faces any kind of threat from a culprit back home in Punjab, the person could simply dial ‘181’ from abroad to lodge a formal online complaint with the police that would duly pursue the case for action against the culprits.

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The Punjab police on Thursday launched this 24-hour toll-free service for assistance and support in non-emergency situations, also to facilitate other vulnerable sections like women and senior citizens.

Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal inaugurated the statewide Punjab Police Call Centre (PPCC) that would integrate these services.

“Punjab has become the first state in the country to introduce this round the clock Police non-emergency service where you can contact and interact with the police sitting in any part of the world at anytime of the day or night,” he said on the occasion.

Trained professional counselors have also been deputed at the PPCC to facilitate the aggrieved citizens, especially women and elderly persons, who might need counseling on pursuing their cases, ADGP (Security) Dinkar Gupta said on the occasion.
 
If needed, the identity of the NRI or any other complainant who feared threat perception in lodging a complaint would be kept a secret.

A web-based application has also be developed to integrate the PPCC with the police control rooms and the offices of the SSPs in districts, and share information in real time with the districts and other police units.

Suitable linkages would also be developed with NGOs already working for the welfare of these sections of society in the near future, he said.

Those who were dissatisfied with the functioning of the police in pursuing their cases in any police station could also lodged a complaint on ‘181’.

This non-police layer between the people and the police has been provided by Ziqitza, a private company, which is already operating the ‘108’ ambulance-help line service in Punjab.

Ziqitza has engaged about 50 young men and women including call counselors, case coordinators and clinical psychologists to run this help line service.

“One of the most significant features of the help line is that it removes the need for physical contact with the police in most of the situations,” Gupta said.

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