Online sexual harassment: Woman’s FB post recounting police apathy towards complaint goes viral
A woman’s Facebook post about the police’s response to a complaint about the sexual harassment and blackmail faced by her sister is going viral. In the post, the woman recounts her family’s experience in dealing with the police and the apathy they are facing in getting a response.
On Friday, she wrote, “Two days back, my 17-year-old sister received an anonymous DM on Instagram. It was the picture of her face MORPHED on a naked body. He said he would post it on Facebook and tag her. Afraid, like any minor would be, she shared the incident with my parents.”
She says her father and sister went to the Dhanmandi police station in Udaipur, Rajasthan to lodge an FIR. With the police saying such complaints were taken by the cyber cell, they took their complaint to the Suraj Pole branch of the cyber cell where they were told that the cell only dealt with ATM-related cyber crimes.
Going back to Dhanmandi police station, they were directed to the Circle Inspector (CI), who allegedly said, “Aap Bohra logo ko parents se bhaut azadi mili hui hai isliye ap logo ke sath ye bahut hota hai (You Bohras have given your children a lot of freedom and that is why it happens a lot with you). Why do you post pictures on social media? What he has done with you, he will do it with others as well. You should delete your social media accounts in order to be safe.”
The police also allegedly shamed her sister and encouraged her father to stop her from using cellphones and social media.
Speaking to DNA, the woman said that when she called the CI on Sunday to follow up on the case and ask if there were any leads, he replied saying, “Chal rha hai kam cyber branch me (The cyber branch is probing into the matter).”
When asked when they would get more information, he said, “How dare you ask me so many questions,” and cut the call. The woman said the inspector ignored her subsequent calls to him.
A senior official asked her to approach to the Udaipur SP. However, he did not speak to her and cut her call. Reacting to this, the senior official said that the cops were “old and not digitally educated” and one could not expect all of them to be educated.
Later in the day, her father went to the police station to obtain a copy of the FIR, but none had been lodged by the police. She says that the CI told him, “We have the application that you had provided and we are probing with the help of that. The procedure would have been longer if FIR would have been lodged.”
The inspector however did not provide them with a copy of their application. He has now asked them to wait till Monday.
- online harassment
- Sexual Harassment
- Crimes against women
- Web Exclusive