Millennium Post

Gurugram: Sharp rise in crimes against women via social media

GURUGRAM: The year 2017 has witnessed a sharp increase in crimes against women in the form of molestation, stalking and physical assault. In a worrying drift, this upward trend has witnessed not only on city streets but also through digital means.
The number of complaints relating to sexual harassment of women through the online medium has risen over 40 percent compared to the previous year. While in 2016, there were over 200 such cases that were registered by the cyber crime police in 2017.
Also, more than 330 cases are pending that have come to fore.
While this form of cyber crime is a new phenomenon, most of the criminals get emboldened by the fact that there is still no stricter law that enables the law enforcement officials to penalise them. Further, digital media enable most of the users to be anonymous.
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. Most of the females are also intimidated by means of threatening messages.
Among the cases that were reported, a man was arrested after a minor girl complained to the cyber police of molesting her through social media. It was later highlighted that he was constantly trying to pressurize her by sending sexually implicit messages on her social media account for more than six months.
While recently, a man was also arrested for posting a clip of his wife on a pornography site.
According to the Cyber crime police, an average of five to six people complains daily about the abuses hurled on women through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.
"For long, I was not worried about being on 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 are still ranks lower.
Yet, officials at cyber crime branch highlight 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, criminals are taking this route to carry out their nefarious acts. In today's world 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.
"Taking cognizance of this new form of crime, our team is also trying to adapt to it. We will soon open a branch that will specifically deal with cyber crimes. It is, however, also important for citizens to be careful and responsible in their use of technology," added the official.

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