Officials at Dhan Mandi police station, turned educators when they refused to take up a case of girl from the Dawoodi Bohra community, who had gone to seek help from the police.
On Wednesday, April 5, a 17 year old girl from Dawoodi Bohra community accompanied by her parents, had gone to report a message that crept up on her Instagram account, which was from an unknown account (aryan6687). The message consisted of a naked girls image, with the complainants face morphed on it. The message said, “meet me on Facebook – i tagged you and me on this pic”.
When the girl and her parents went to Dhan Mandi police station, they were told that this is a case of cyber crime and that they should go to Surajpol Police station, who handle cyber crime. On going to Surajpol, they were told that the only cases handled under Cyber crime are those related to ATM. This kind of case is not handled under Cyber crime.
The victims again went to Dhan Mandi police station, and were asked to come back a day later. On going there once again, the victims met three people – a police officer, a circle inspector and a layer, and narrated the incident to them once again. Shockingly, instead of registering the complaints according to procedure, the officials started morally lecturing the father of the girl, saying that the Bohra community gives a lot of freedom to their girls and that this is why such incidents take place.
Victim shamed, the girl was told that this is what happens when one keeps social media accounts. The officer told the girl, “Why do you keep social media accounts…what he has done to you, he will do to other as well…” The girl was asked to delete her social media account. Interestingly, the police officials refused to file the FIR, saying that the procedure will be long and resource consuming.
The victims once again followed up for complaint, which were met with non-chalant replies, and on further questioning the circle inspector said that he cannot respond to so many questions…after which he hung up the phone and did not respond to further telephone calls.
When the victims reported to a senior female official, she, on condition of anonymity said, “This is how the police force is…they are old and not digitally educated…each one cannot be trained by me”.
What is now a point of serious concern, is the apathetic attitude of officials towards instances of cyber sexual harassment.
The advice, “Delete your social media accounts” is more like…”Don’t keep a bank account, else it will be hacked by ATM crooks or cyber crooks”…or “don’t keep credit cards, else it will be hacked..” A shame.