By Alok Singh, New Delhi, Feb 12 IANS | 9 months ago

Faced with criticism over its perceived lack of sensitivity and outreach to the northeast community in the capital, Delhi Police is set to launch a Facebook page and a Twitter account for people from the northeast where they can post complaints and suggestions.

In another move, a 24-hour Delhi Police helpline will be publicised widely by their social media websites.

The decision was taken by Delhi Police in the wake of an alleged "racist" attack on Arunachal Pradesh student Nido Tania that led to his death and a furore among people from the northeast region.

Delhi Police already has a committee, formed in 2012 and headed by a joint commissioner of police, to tackle problems faced by students and other people from the northeastern states living in Delhi. It is currently being headed by Joint Commissioner Robin Hibu, who hails from the region.

"A Facebook and Twitter account of Delhi Police will be launched soon where students from the northeastern region can put forth their grievances and suggestions," a police officer told IANS.

He said the accounts will be monitored regularly by a police team with good knowledge of social media and computer handling. "Delhi Police will take note of the posts and act upon them."

"We will also post the action taken by Delhi Police on the complaints and suggestions," he added.

Delhi Police will also publicise its 24-hour helpline number - 1091 - on the website of the ministry of development of north east region (DoNER) as well as its Facebook and Twitter pages.

It will also encourage northeast students to pen down their thoughts and experiences on wattpad - an online community themed around writing and story-telling on which users can post articles, stories, and poems about anything.

The DoNER ministry has already launched a support centre for students from the northeast following the death of Tania.

The decision was arrived at after a joint meeting between Delhi Police and officials of DoNER Feb 5, said another police official.

The support centre has been opened at the NorthEast Council Guest House in Chanakyapuri in central Delhi.

Professional counsellors will be hired on contractual basis to deal with problems and issues raised by northeast students at the support centre.

In another step at outreach, Delhi Police is planning to conduct half-day seminars once a month that will see professional counsellors and northeast people discuss issues and problems faced by them. In this move, the DoNER ministry would also chip in.

Delhi Police holds meetings once in two months with students and people from the northeast in the seven police districts of the capital. The minutes of the meetings are forwarded to Hibu and the Delhi Police commissioner, said an official.

(Alok Singh can be contacted at alok.s@ians.in)

(Posted on 12-02-2014)

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