Facebook’s timely alert to police saves life

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They were able to locate man in 55 mins.

A call from Facebook’s U.S.’ office – 14,000 km away — and timely action of the Delhi police ensured that a 39-year-old man, trying to end his life, was saved. The police managed to locate and reach him in 55 minutes after the information was received.

DCP (Cyber Unit) Anyesh Roy said that at 12.50 a.m. on Friday, he received a phone call from Facebook’s U.S.’ office informing him that they’ve come across a live video in which a man is trying to harm himself. They also sent an email with link to the video. “This alert was generated as part of the coordination framework established between CyPAD, the Nodal Cyber Unit of Delhi Police, and international social media platforms,” Mr. Roy said.

In the video, Mr. Roy said, the man’s minor daughter could be heard pleading with him to open the door which was shut from inside and he could be seen slitting his wrists.

The unit swung into action and analysed the profile. The live video had ended by then and the number attached to it was found to be switched off. Assistant sub-inspector Aditya Gautam, within minutes, then obtained the address attached to the number and located it to south-west Delhi’s Palam Village.

“The information was given to Palam Village police station and Command Room. The information was further shared with Emergency Response Vehicle and PCR vans in the area,” Mr. Roy said.

Nearest ERV in-charge sub-inspector Amit Kumar received the information at 1.30 a.m. and managed to locate the address in 10 minutes. Recalling the night, Mr. Kumar said that as soon as he entered, he found the man in a semi-conscious and inebriated state. Hismother, sister and two minor children were also present in the house. “He was constantly saying he wanted to die. We somehow managed to take him to a nearby hospital where they gave him first-aid but said they couldn’t admit him. We then took him to AIIMS where he is undergoing treatment,” Mr. Kumar said, adding that he is stable.

The police said the man runs a sweet shop in the area. He lost his wife in 2016 after which he has remained vulnerable. On Thursday night, he had an altercation with his neighbours which triggered him to take the step.

Suicide prevention helpline: Sanjivini, Society for Mental Health, 011-4076 9002, Monday-Saturday (10 a.m.-7.30 p.m.)


This article was originally published on The Hindu