Alerted by Facebook post, police thwart suicide bidA Facebook post of a college student about his intention to kill self on Thursday prompted police to intervene, and a life was saved.
A Facebook post of a college student about his intention to kill self on Thursday prompted police to intervene, and a life was saved.
According to police, the college goer, in his early 20s, posted a “suicide note” on his Facebook wall, which was detected by Facebook’s office in Ireland. As the social networking site found no activity on the man’s Facebook profile after the post, it sent an emergency alert to Nepal Police.
A team under the command of Inspector Pashupati Kumar Raya of the Metropolitan Crime Division swung into action after the alert.
“He had posted a suicide note on Facebook around noon on Thursday,” Raya told the Post. “Alarmed by the status, Facebook’s Ireland office sent us an alert at 12:23am on Friday after which we launched our investigation.”
According to Inspector Raya, the college goer had written: “This is the end of my life. It does not matter if one person leaves the world.”
Raya said the boy’s Facebook status ended with “no more pain”. Officials from the Metropolitan Crime Division located the man and called him at his home immediately. “It was past midnight. Nobody answered the phone at first. But later, the boy himself picked up the phone,” said Raya. “Initially, he was reluctant to talk but after our counselling, he agreed to not make any attempt to take his life.” According to police, the boy refused to discuss why he was considering killing self. “We have asked police in Jhapa to meet him at his home to understand the situation better.” Nothing much is known about the boy except that he is a first year student of BA in Jhapa and that he lives with his parents.
“His parents also refused to talk to us,” Raya said.
Facebook has been monitoring potentially suicidal contents since 2011 and has been reporting them to concerned authorities. It also introduced a suicide prevention feature in March last year which allows people to report a friend’s post that hints that they are thinking about self harm. The Metropolitan Crime Division has issued a statement, urging parents to monitor their children’s activity and provide proper advice to prevent such possible accidents.
Suicide is a criminal offence in Nepal. The Muluki Ain, criminal code of Nepal, states: Except as otherwise provided in law, no one shall take the life (kill), cause to take the life, or attempt to take the life of, a person. Although the code does not mention the term suicide, it is understood as an attempt to take the life of a person, be it oneself.