Cybercrooks on prowl: J&K to launch special drive to sensitize students about internet safeguards

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Screenshot 2023 02 14 175151

SRINAGAR: Unnerved by growing cybercrimes, Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to launch a massive awareness drive to sensitize students about social media safeguards and cyber security.

Officials from the Social Welfare Department will be visiting schools and colleges and holding training sessions with the students. Trainers will be teaching about using social media, cyber security, and cybercrimes.

“We will be going to colleges, both boys and girls, and talking to students. We will be training them about using social media. We will be telling them about cyber security. We will also be telling them about safeguards while using the internet,” Sheetal Nanda, Commissioner Secretary, Social Welfare department, told The Kashmir Monitor.

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reported that 154 cases of cyber crimes were registered in J&K in 2021. Nearly 120 cases of cybercrimes were reported in 2020. The number was 73 in 2019. Cybercrime rate has increased by around 110 percent in the last two years. Around 45 cases related to the publication and transmission of obscene and sexually explicit acts were reported in 2021.

NCRB has revealed that 39 cybercrimes were committed against women and four against children. Similarly, there were six cases of cyberstalking, and bullying of women and children. Jammu and Kashmir has been on the radar of cybercriminals for a long time. Even social media is being misused to create unrest and mistrust among communities besides spreading hatred in the country. Criminals are increasingly misusing technological advancements and posing serious threats to society.

Sensing urgency, National Commission for Women in collaboration with Social Welfare Department and Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, organized a meeting of stakeholders of Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh regarding the strengthening of response towards gender-based violence through greater coordination.

Members of Special Cells for Women, Family Counselling Centre, One Stop Centres, 181 helpline, District Hub for Empowerment of Women, and Family Counselling Centres along with senior police officials responding to violence against women in both UTs were also part of the meeting. 

 “We need to respond collaboratively if we want to tackle this huge problem of violence against women,” said NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma.

Sheetal Nanda encouraged all stakeholders to equip themselves with knowledge of laws pertaining to women for better implementation of the initiative. She asked them to recognize the multiplicity of services for cross-referrals and comprehensive response to survivors seeking support. “Law is the backbone of the work we do,” she said.

It was also decided to launch awareness programmes on cybercrime. Besides training of Protection Officers under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence will also be planned.  A portal will be developed to create a directory of available resources for survivors of violence.

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