Wednesday, 23 September, 2020

Police steps up social media surveillance, saves 13 persons from committing suicide


By Keshav Raj Poudel, Kathmandu, Sept. 16: The police saved 13 persons who had posted their video indicating their intent to commit suicide during the lockdown period.

Kuber Kathayat, spokesperson of the police, said that they saved 13 people from committing suicide in five months period of lockdown.

With the recent increase in the number of suicides being announced live on social media, the cybercrime control team of the police has been very active.

According to Kathayat, the police rescued 13 people carrying ropes in preparation for the suicide when they stepped up surveillance on social media.

The rescued are provided with the counselling and are then handed to the family care.

Due to COVID-19 lockdown, regular awareness programmes conducted by the police at the community level have been stopped. This has led to an increase in suicides and live video of suicides, which has also required an increased surveillance on social media.

According to the police, 709 people have committed suicide in the last two months. During this time, 561 people have committed suicide by hanging and 137 by consuming poison.

According to the Nepal Police, 1,647 people have committed suicide during the lockdown period alone, which is 25 percent more than the previous period.

The police office has been doing the programme at the community level in each and every district in order to reduce the suicide rates.

But, due to the COVID-19, many awareness campaigns for discouraging the suicide rates has not come into operation.

We have been doing the campaign against suicide in the school level programme as well but now even that is completely stooped, the police spokesperson said.

Durga Singh, Chief of the Women and Children's Section of the Nepal Police, said it was necessary to include the subject of mental health in the curriculum from the school level to prevent suicide.

Though we care about physical health but we are negligent about the mental health because of which mental health problem is on the rise, Singh added.

Impact of the inability to conduct awareness raising programme at the school which informs the positive and negative things in life during the lockdown time has now been observed, he shared.

There should be the concern on the mental health on the societal level as well, added Singh.

The mental health problem has come up as the problem lately which has increased the suicide rates so there should be the curricula for mental health in the school level curriculum in order to discourage the suicide act.

Nepalis are happy people and forget and forgive easily, so if the counselling can be given in right time then there will be decrement in the mental health issues, said Singh.

More than six thousand people commit suicide every year in Nepal.

According to the Nepal Police, 6,279 people committed suicide in the year 2075/76, where, 5039 hanged themselves, 1,146 ate poison, 34 jumped off and 27 drowned themselves.

In the fiscal year, 2076/77, 6,241 people took their lives themselves, in which 1,116 people committed suicide by consuming poison.


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