Maneka Gandhi Sets Up Cyber Cell To Check Online Abuses On Women

08/07/2016 8:42 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST
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NEW DELHI, INDIA - MAY 30: Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi releases the Draft Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill 2016 on May 30, 2016 in New Delhi, India. The new bill aims to check human trafficking by unifying several existing laws, meting out tougher punishment for repeat offenders and ensuring the protection and rehabilitation of victims. (Photo by Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Furthering her fight against those who troll women on social media, Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi, has set up a cyber cell to keep an eye on online bullies.

Senior bureaucrat Chetan Sanghi will head the newly formed cyber cell, NDTV reported.

Gandhi received several complaints after she tweeted on Tuesday asking women who have suffered online abuses, bullying or stalking to approach her. She had also asked the National Commission for Women (NCW) to take care of such cases.

However, NCW Chairperson Lalitha Kumaramangalam had opposed the idea saying it was not possible to ‘police the internet’.

"You can't police the net. It is an open space, it is like a galaxy almost. There are billions of twitter accounts and no organisation can keep an eye on twitter. It is not physically possible for anybody to say we are following everybody's twitter," she had said.

On Friday, through a series of tweets, the Ministry clarified its stance.

There will be no patrolling on the internet. The unit will only respond to complaints made by affected women through email. The only time we will respond is when we receive complaints about abusive behaviour, harassment, hateful conduct, the tweets from the ministry said.

After receiving several tweets by men who were concerned about the move, the ministry said that "the question is not of men or women, but of egregious violence."

Maneka Gandhi also met social networking site Twitter India s Head of Public Policy, Mahima Kaul on Friday.

There was also a meeting between the cyber crime department and ministry officials.

As per discussions, Twitter India will now appoint a dedicated contact person to whom the ministry can direct complaints of trolling on Twitter," a source said.

Complaints received by the ministry, which are of a grave nature, will be reported to Twitter for action.

"The Ministry will also work with cyber-crime cell wherever required, said a press statement of the ministry.

The ministry has broadly defined three different categories of complaints on which it will take action and this will include abusive behaviour, harassment and hateful conduct.

The ministry will also create a separate e-mail id by tomorrow for complaints about online abuse, a source said.

(With PTI inputs)

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