Maharashtra is converting 42 state-of-the-art cyber crime labs into cyber police stations as part of the BJP-led government's strategy to take on cyber criminals.
"Maharashtra is the first state in the country which will have a cyber police station in each district simultaneously," said a top Home Department official.
Cyber crime in Maharashtra has risen by a whopping 142.1% in the last few years, the official said.
These cyber police stations will also be set up at police commissionerate and Range IG offices.
The Devendra Fadnavis-led government, which completed two years recently, will soon issue a notification in this regard, the senior IPS official said.
Fadnavis had inaugurated 34 well-equipped cyber labs in all districts on Independence Day this year.
The state government's cyber crime wing is setting up 51 cyber crime labs in Maharashtra. These include the 34 labs at the district level, seven at Inspector General's offices, nine at Commissioner of Police offices and one lab at the state police headquarters, the official said.
Maharashtra is facing increased cyber crime cases in tier-II cities as well as in rural areas, the official said.
Many such cases remain pending for investigation and the new initiative will take care of this shortcoming, he said.
For the normal local police stations, tackling cyber crimes is a daunting task due to lack of proper training and technical knowledge. However, the cyber labs come with trained manpower and modern equipment to deal with new age crimes in cyber world, the official said.
With this new initiative, any offence related to cyber crime will be registered in these police stations at the district level. Additional cyber police stations will also be set up in some cities, the official said.
While 907 cases of cyber crime were registered in 2013, as many as 2,195 such cases were filed in 2015. There was conviction in just five of the 4,981 cases filed in three years, the official added.