Soon after the brutal rape and murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad, the country’s police had come under fire for their alleged failure in protecting the people. It was during the time Disha’s death had created massive outrage that a message began doing the rounds on WhatsApp claiming that Bengaluru Police are giving free late-night rides to women.
“Police launch free ride scheme where any woman, who is alone and unable to find a vehicle between 10pm-6am can call the police helpline numbers (1091 and 7837018555) and request for a vehicle,” the message reads.
The message also states that the helpline works 24x7 and the control room would send a police vehicle from a nearby station to come pick up the women.
“This will be done free of cost. Pass the message to everyone you know,” the message adds.
Earlier in December, the Bengaluru Police had put out a message on Facebook and Twitter, debunking this message and stating that its fake.
“Fake message is spreading on WhatsApp that this is BCP’s Women Helpline. The number does not belong to BCP and we request people to not share this message. Stringent action will be taken against those spreading the fake message. Fake messages of any kind must not be spread as it becomes a reason for nuisance,” the Bengaluru Police said in a tweet.
Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao also said that the city police have rolled out the Suraksha App for women’s safety and that no other helpline was launched as a free late-night cab service.
“When stuck in an emergency, download the Bengaluru City Police Suraksha App, press the red button to trigger the police and to alert your family and friends,” he said.
The Suraksha App was rolled out by the police in April 2017. Commissioner Bhaskar Rao said that any woman who clicks on the SOS button on the app would receive a response from the police within 7 seconds.