GUWAHATI, Sept 8 - The move of the Assam Police to take to the social media to reach out to cross sections of people following the brutal killing of two youths at Dokmoka in Karbi Anglong district has started paying rich dividends as the Facebook account and Twitter handle of the State police managed to reach out to around two million people and the response received from people, not only in Assam but also from other parts of the country and even abroad, is overwhelming.
Through its Facebook and Twitter accounts, the Assam Police have not only managed to thwart the spread of hate messages and efforts by unscrupulous elements to create trouble, but people have also started giving their feedback on different issues. There have also been instances of people in distress reaching out to the police through the social media.
Director General of Assam Police Kula Saikia said that as the reach of the social media is expanding rapidly, the Assam Police decided to have its own Facebook and Twitter accounts to reach out to cross sections of people. Through the social media, the Assam Police is now regularly interacting and communicating with cross sections of people and this is of immense help to improve the police-public interface.
Saikia said that the response that the Assam Police is receiving from the people is overwhelming. He pointed out that through the social media, the Assam Police has been able to check spreading of hate messages and false propaganda to a great extent and the people�s faith on the law-enforcing agency is also increasing.
Additional Director General of Police Harmeet Singh, who is heading the social media centre of the Assam Police, told The Assam Tribune that as the social media has become a powerful medium to reach out to the people, the Assam Police had decided to create its own Facebook and Twitter accounts.
As hate messages started pouring in after the killings at Dokmoka, the Assam Police launched its own Facebook and Twitter accounts on June 9 this year to counter such messages and the response was very positive right from the first day. Cross sections of people started sending messages to the police on the hate messages spread on the social media and the police managed to nab around 40 persons, while around 100 others, who were very young, were brought to the respective police stations along with parents for counselling.
The hate messages following the Dokmoka incident could be stopped mainly because of effective use of the social media by the Assam Police, Singh said.
During the Ambubachi mela, the Assam Police could help the people through the social media, while the police efforts for effective use of the same created awareness among the people on the publication of the draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and prevented unscrupulous elements from spreading rumours to create confusion among the people.
The Chief Minister of a neighbouring State had commented following the publication of the draft NRC that internet services in Assam were blocked. The response of the Assam Police on the comment in the social media read: �You would not have seen this message if internet services were blocked.� This simple sentence effectively countered the false allegation.
Only because of use of the social media, the Assam Police managed to foil the suicide bid of a young girl, while the warnings on stalking of girls, warning people not to fall prey to fake messages calling for bank account numbers, social evils, etc., also received a very positive response.
Following a request from the UNICEF, the Assam Police uploaded a video message on safe use of the internet, particularly by youngsters.
Some people are also lodging complaints through the social media. Singh said that the social media centre is forwarding such complaints to the respective police stations or agencies so that those can be addressed immediately.