14, Jan 2016
Jan 14 2016 : The Times of India (Mumbai)
“I love you. Please talk to me,“ says the caller at police control room number 101 to the constable on duty .This is just one out of the many such calls that he receives every day.
Harassed constables attending calls on police control room number 100 and 101 that due to abusive and prank callers, the phone line remains engaged and they often have to face punishment from senior authorities as genuine cases suffer. While no such prank caller has been located so far, cops say control room numbers have become a way for city residents to harass them.
“We get over 1,000 calls every day and 90% of these are prank calls. In fact, there are certain numbers that we know by heart now and don’t pick up at all. Women call us every day -some propose us while others say vulgar things. We have told our senior authorities about this several times, but all in vain,“ said Sanjeev Malik, constable, fire department.
“Once a genuine fire emergency call could not reach us because though I had hung up, the prank caller kept the line busy . I was suspended for a day for the lapse. What is my fault in this?“ said Pradeep Kumar, another constable in the fire department.
“Most of the calls come from women callers. Sometimes men also call up and use abusive language. At times, parents call up the control room and hand over the phone to their toddlers, who don’t hang up quickly . Calls on landline numbers take longer to disconnect, thus keeping the line busy,“ added Kumar The control room is The control room is manned around the clock and constables work in four-hour shifts. While the fire de partment has all male constables, woman constables sometimes attend calls on the 100 helpline number. “Men call us and say all kinds of vulgar things. I am just saddened by the fact that the city residents get pleasure from troubling people from the police department, who are ready to help them 24×7,“ said Beena Sharma (name changed), a constable at the 100 helpline control room.
Deputy inspector general (Meerut range) Ashutosh Kumar told TOI: “I will ensure that a gazetted officer is appointed for both the control rooms to whom these constables can report the matter.Then an inquiry can be conducted and a case can be registered against the miscreants.“