Kolkata: Facebook's Mail Help Police Prevent Man From Committing Suicide
Prompt action of Kolkata police and guidance of Facebook helped save a man who was about to commit suicide. The officers from Kolkata cyber cell who jointly carried out the midnight search operation with the Kasba police had received a detailed email at 10 pm on July 23 from the social media giant warning a man had posted a live video from the top of a flyover trying to attempt suicide.
One of the investigating officers told The Times of India that Facebook had sent an email including all details of the man. He said, “Based on the mail- and even a call- an inquiry was initiated by sub-inspector Raja Saha.”
Facebook sent the IP address of the device used to record the live video to the cops. It was found that the device was a smartphone. The cops within a stipulated time found the number of the phone and tracked it to establish the man’s location. The number was located to be from Picnic Garden.
After zeroing the man’s location, the cyber cell contacted the officer at Kasba police station. The duty officer at Kasba police station – SI Rana Adhikari rushed to the man’s house. However, he was not at his residence when cops reached at 1 am. It was found that the man was working for a private firm and was married for several years. The duty officer was informed that the man was suffering from mental trauma due to personal reasons.
After his mother was made to call him, it was revealed that that the man was walking along the Lake Gardens rail tracks. After multiple attempts, the cops finally coaxed him not to take the extreme step. The man returned to his residence at 3 am. The cops have assured that they will be arranging a counselling for him.
Facebook India in 2016 had launched a suicide prevention feature where a notification will be sent to users if his/her friend is posting anything which hints that the person is struggling or having suicidal thoughts. The company in India has also partnered with two NGO to help people overcome depression. One of the NGO also has a helpline number on which the Facebook users can seek help.
One of the senior Kolkata Police officers praising the technology said that they are hoping to work with Facebook and save more lives.
Last year, in a similar incident, a girl from Assam was saved. The cops received a Facebook alert after the girl posted a status which read “I am gonna commit suicide today”. The police were able to track down the girl in 30 minutes.