Cyber crimes against women, kids a major threat: Experts
Experts on Friday cautioned that cyber crimes were a major threat lurking on a large number of gullible internet users, especially young boys and girls and the elderly in Haryana.
They were speaking on the concluding day of a two-day conference on “Safety of women and children” in Panchkula.
During a session on “Threat to women and children in cyberspace, online harassment and online stalking”, assistant superintendent of police Pooja Vashisth said the number of internet users is rapidly increasing because of peer pressure to join social media, curiosity despite lurking dangers, digital addiction and online games (especially like Blue Whale Challenge, which has taken lives too).
Vashishth said while over 10,000 complaints pertaining to cyber crimes had already been reported at Gurugram cyber police station alone since last year, there was a dire need to prioritise these cases.
The panel strongly recommended service providers’ accountability and a social responsibility like some countries abroad. The panel also recommended inclusion of the subject in school curriculum in Haryana and real-time support by the companies.
A thought provoking discussion cropped up during the discussion on “Harassment in public places-lack of faith in the police and justice system”, for which recommendations included time-bound investigation and trials, video conferencing during trials, expanding the spectrum of punishments including financial cuts, surety of punishment, CCTVs and mapping of crime hotspots and mandatory.
During the deliberations on “Harassment of women at workplace”, which had Upneet Lalli, deputy director, Institute of Correctional Administration, Chandigarh and assistant superintendent of police Vikrant as felicitators, gaps were noticed in functioning of internal complaints committees (ICCs), lack of knowledge of law, pressures on ICCs, chances of complainants getting victimised or sidelined. The panel recommended helping the complainant, gender safety audit of organisations and check on false complaints.
During the session on “Trafficking of women and children”, the felicitators felt that the major challenges included low registration of cases and trafficking cases not being treated as organised crime. The panel recommended an inter-state coordination for quick redressal, better intelligence and community policing.
The panel discussing “Child/adolescent sexual abuse” found that reporting of the case itself was difficult due to the nature of offence. It recommended that there was a need to jointly train parents and teachers, counsellors, government agencies as well as judicial officers.
President of the IPFI and former DGP Assam, N Ramachandran, told HT that the IPFI, an independent think tank with Prakash Singh (IPS, retd) as its chairman and many top serving and retired IPS officers and bureaucrats, has held similar meets in several states. “It will cull out the best policies and suggestions and disseminate the same among all the stake holders,” he said.