330 cases of online sexual harassment reported in Ggn
Gurugram: The number of complaints related to sexual harassment of women through online medium continues to show an upward trend. In 2017, there were over 200 such cases that were registered by the cyber crime police while in 2018, there were 330 complaints that came to fore.
Many molesters have adopted the route of social media like Twitter, Facebook and messenger services as means of sexually harassing women by sending them lewd messages.
While this form of cybercrime is a new phenomenon as most of the criminals get emboldened by the fact there is a low rate of conviction that enables the law enforcement officials to penalise them.
If get caught, the molester can be charged under IT act 67 — the conviction in which one can land in under 5 years of imprisonment.
Despite this, most of the cases gets delayed in court proceedings and ultimately results in delayed in court settlements.
Further, digital media enable most of the users to be anonymous. In one such case, a man was arrested last year after a minor complained to the cyber police of him molesting her through a social media platform. It was later highlighted that he was constantly trying to pressurise her by sending sexually implicit messages on her social media account for more than six months.
In December, 2018, a man has been arrested for posting a clip of his wife in a pornography site in Gurugram.
According to the Cybercrime police, on an average, there are five to six complaints daily on abuses hurled on women through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.
"For long, I was not worried about being in social media but now I have become wary. I am extremely careful while trying to interact with strangers digitally," said Rashmi Malik, a city resident.
As compared to other forms of crimes like online banking thefts, credit and debit cards fraud, stealing the data and duping people through fake websites, this form of online crime still ranks lower. Yet, officials at the cyber crime branch highlighted that over the two years, it has become a challenge to deal with this form of crime.
"There is no doubt that as the nation is progressing digitally, the criminals are taking to this route to carry out their nefarious acts. Today, practically every citizen has a smartphone and therefore, it has become easy for everyone with wrong intent to be a part of this crime," said a senior police official from Gurugram police. Online abuse has become a major law and order challenge for the officials. On Monday, two senior journalists including a male and a female have shared online about the sexual harassment and the threatening message given to them through the internet.