A message is floating on Facebook with the claim that the newly formed government in Maharashtra has ordered the state police to provide free rides at night for women.
The message states that the free ride scheme for women can be availed by calling on phone numbers 1091 and 7837018555.
The message reads: “ New Govt. ordered for police. Maharashtra Police launched free ride scheme where any women who is alone & not able to find a vehicle to get home at nights between 10pm-6am can call the police helpline numbers (1091 and 7837018555) & request for a vehicle. They will work 24x7. The control room vehicle or nearby PCR vehicle/SHO vehicle will come & drop her safely to her destination. This will be done FREE of cost. Pass this message to everyone you know. Kindly save the number.(sic)”
The Quint also got queries about a similar message, which is doing the rounds on social media with the claim that the Kolkata police has started the “free ride scheme.” This message too claims that the service will be available to women by calling on the phone numbers 1091 and 7837018555.
This message was also viral on Twitter.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, some netizens shared the message without mentioning which state police they are referring to. The text insinuated that the scheme is available for women everywhere.
TRUE OR FALSE?
The claim that a free ride service for women, with the helpline numbers 1091 and 7837018555, has been launched by the Maharashtra Police and Kolkata Police, is misleading.
According to an article published by The Tribune on Sunday, 1 December, the free ride scheme, with the helpline numbers 1091 and 7837018555, was initiated by Ludhiana Police in Punjab to prevent crime against women.
Nagpur Police in Maharashtra, as well, has started a free drop service for women with one of the helpline numbers being 1091.
1091 is a pan-India number issued by the National Commission for Women for women in distress.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
On doing a Google search using keywords “police helpline number 7837018555,” The Quint came across news reports which stated that the service was being provided by the Ludhiana Police to ensure safety of women travelling at night alone.
As per an article published by The Tribune, the women in Ludhiana can call on helpline numbers, 1091 and 7837018555, and request for a vehicle to drop them home anytime between 10 pm-6 am on all days.
“The nearby PCR vehicle or SHO vehicles will drop women at their destinations,” the article added.
“We have started many programmes to ensure safety and security of women in Ludhiana. We have two dedicated helpline numbers, 1091 and 7837018555, for women. These are open 24x7. Women can dial these numbers to get a free ride to home in Ludhiana,” said Commissioner of Police Rakesh Agrawal, The Tribune reported.
Moreover, the Kolkata Police on 7 December took to their Facebook page to announce that the “free ride scheme” availed by calling 1091 and 7837018555 was not launched by them and that the message was “incorrect.” Regardless, they reiterated their pledge to provide immediate assistance to anyone in distress who dialed 100.
Incorrect message circulating in social media A message in the screenshot below is circulating in social media since...Posted by Kolkata Police on Friday, December 6, 2019
The helpline number 1091 is a pan-India number issued by the National Commission for Women for women who need help.
WOMEN SAFETY INITIATIVES TAKEN BY PUNJAB POLICE
The police official further said that an app called Shakti app has been launched through which “women can get police help at the click of a button.” The Punjab Police too, took to Twitter and informed about the same.
Aimed at empowering people in unsafe situations or places, Shakti App enables to report instantly by sending pictures to the Police Control Room.— Punjab Police India (@PunjabPoliceInd) December 3, 2019
To download the Shakti App, click: https://t.co/w6gviFTjNp pic.twitter.com/qE8rLwObvs
Also, the Punjab government on Tuesday announced a state-wise police escort facility between 9 pm-6 am for women who travel late at night. The commuters can call on helpline numbers 100, 112 and 181 to avail the pick-and-drop facility.
Punjab Police gives free drop facility to women in nighthttps://t.co/I6zunwciBS— Punjab Police India (@PunjabPoliceInd) December 4, 2019
WHAT ABOUT MAHARASHTRA POLICE?
The Maharashtra Police on 29 November had tweeted that irrespective of the gender, citizens can call on the police emergency number 100 if they feel any threat to their security or are facing an emergency.
No matter what your gender, if you feel there's any threat to your security or are in any emergency, please #Dial100, at any time, from any place.— Maharashtra Police (@DGPMaharashtra) November 29, 2019
Please don't feel hesitant to call us. We promise to try to help you at the earliest.
In another initiative for the safety of women, Nagpur Police has also launched a free ride scheme for women which can be availed from 9 pm to 5 am. The female commuters can call on helpline numbers 100, 1091, 07122561103.
We are providing "HOME-DROP" facility for the Safety and Security of Women:— Nagpur City Police (@NagpurPolice) December 4, 2019
Any woman who is alone/stranded, with no means to go home, between 9pm - 5am, would be safely escorted by us till her home, FREE of Cost.
DIAL 100 or 1091 or 07122561103.#NagpurPolice#AlwaysThere4U
While social media users claimed that the Maharashtra Police and Kolkata Police has launched a free ride for women from 10 pm-6 am with helpline numbers 1091 and 7837018555, these are actually Ludhiana police’s helpline numbers. Further, 1091 is a pan India number issued by National Commission for Women.
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