Bengaluru cops' latest gift to city: FIR centres shut up

Bengaluru cops

Submitted by Editor on Mon, 2016-05-09 15:07 Bengaluru: Two FIR centres launched with a lot of hype in 2014 to ease the process of filing FIRs were closed down by the police department a month ago.The centres were the first of its kind in India, and the FIR centre located at Mantri Mall was remotely managed by another one located at the Traffic Management Centre on Infantry Road. The two centres were well-equipped with HD video and audio recorders, touch screen and a remote keyboard.Two years, while inaugurating the FIR centre at Mantri Mall, CM Siddaramaiah had promised to extend such FIR centres to other parts of the city depending on the response.Recounting his experience, Dalit activist T Narsimhamurthy said it had taken him 24 hours to register an FIR over the harassment of women in Madiwala station. “These two centres had received a good response. But all of a sudden the police department closed them last month.”Narasimhamurthy said several activists had raised the issue with the home minister on April 13. “He said that a private company named CISCO Systems India Private Limited used to run the FIR centre and that the contract had ended. Hence the police department had to close down the centres. But he promised to open the centres once more.”Umapathy, senior advocate, HC, said lakhs were spent on these centres and they had been shut down when there was a dire need of them. “A group of citizens, activists have drafted a letter which will be submitted to the home minister and to the commissioner of police on May 10 asking them to mention the deadline on reopening the centres. How can they escape by saying that the contract had ended?” asked the advocate.The FIR center at Mantri mall was shut three months ago. Now, two small shops have come in its place Chief Minster SIddaramaiah had inaugurated FIR centre at Matri Mall in 2014Nevina Kamath, a resident of Girinagar and part of the group urging for the reopening of FIR centres, said, “The centres would help weed out problems like refusal to file complaints, delay and corruption. It would be of great help especially to vulnerable sections of society.”When contacted, NS Megharikh, police commissioner, said, “ I have nothing to explain as I am not aware of it.”Operated remotelyThe centre at Mantri Mall was managed remotely. An officer at the TMC would guide the person in filing a complaint at the centre at Mantri Mall. The officer at the TMC could speak to the complainant at the centre through video conference. The officer would collect the case details and the section under which the case had to be booked would be discussed with the complainant.Later, the complainant would get an electronic receipt of the complaint and also the FIR. Complaints lodged at the centre would be forwarded to Vidhana Soudha police station, which would submit the same to the magistrate court. The court will verify the complaint and refer them to the jurisdictional police for further investigations.