An agreement signed between Meta (Facebook's parent company) and Uttar Pradesh Police has helped save two people's lives in the state in a span of less than a week.
One of them was a college student in the Ambedkarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh, who late Friday night said she was going to die by suicide in an Instagram post, posting pictures of pills she was going to pop up.
The other occurred in Ghaziabad on January 31, when a man, as he prepared to hang himself from a ceiling fan, beamed a live telecast of the act on Instagram.
In both cases, the tech giant managed to scupper their attempts by alerting in time the local police, who then traced the two people and stopped them from dying suicide.
"Under the prevailing agreement between Uttar Pradesh Police and Facebook from March 2022, if any person posts something related to suicide or self-harm on Facebook or Instagram, then Meta Hqs USA immediately sends an alert to the social media centre of PHQ UP Police through phone and email," Rahul Srivastav, Additional Superintendent of Police ATS/In-charge of Social Media Centre of UP Police, told PTI on Sunday.
He added that more than 10 lives have been saved so far.
In Ambedkarnagar incident, Meta sent an alert to the Social Media Centre of UP Police at 11.37 pm with her details, after which police reached the woman's place in 15 minutes, thwarted her pursuit and took her family into confidence, Mr Srivastav said.
On the directions of Additional Director General, Law and Order, Prashant Kumar, Superintendent of Police of Ambedkarnagar Ajit Kumar Sinha has deputed a female officer, Rukmani Verma, to counsel the girl.
In the Ghaziabad incident, after receiving an alert from the Social Media Centre of UP Police, Vijayanagar Police Station Inspector Anita Chauhan reached the spot within 13 minutes and prevented the man from killing himself. The man was depressed after losing 90,000 in a business.
The Ghaziabad Police counselled the youth and also spoke to his family.
"UP Police is making diverse use of social media for the cause of public service offering a bouquet of online services. We have a dedicated and well-trained team of more than 500+ police personnel who work round-the-clock to render any kind of assistance," he said.
Mr Srivastav said, "Considering the sensitivity of the issue, we are coming up with a detailed SOP for such cases in which there shall be a provision for sustained follow-up and counselling by professional counsellors of UNICEF.
"We also sensitise the district-level officers to regularly keep in touch with the victim and ensure all possible help.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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