The Delhi Police Cyber Cell has lodged an FIR following a complaint about a private Instagram group, where teenage boys from prominent South Delhi schools discussed girls’ body parts and shared their photos. Police have also apprehended a 15-year-old boy and are probing the matter.
Purported screenshots from the group, called ‘Bois Locker Room’, had been shared widely on Twitter and Instagram on Sunday. The Cyber Cell then took suo motu cognizance of the matter and filed an FIR. A senior police officer said, “On Monday, we found out that the administration of a prominent private school had filed a complaint at Saket police station.”
The officer said, “In their complaint, school authorities requested police to investigate the incident. Police, using technical surveillance, got the registered number of the 15-year-old, who had allegedly shared a photograph on the group. His phone was switched off. After finding his address, he was apprehended on Monday evening.”
Police have so far found that some students of leading South Delhi schools created the Instagram group in the last week of March and started adding their friends. “A few members are in college. Some of the teens allegedly started sharing photos posted by schoolgirls on their Instagram accounts, and passing sexually explicit comments,” an officer said, adding that the purported chats also included threats of sexual violence.
DCP (Cyber Cell) Anyesh Roy told The Indian Express, “After we came to know, we registered an FIR under Sections 465 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and Sections 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) and 67A (publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act in electronic form) of the IT Act. We are probing the matter and collecting all technical evidence.”
So far, names of four private schools from South Delhi and one from Noida have been linked to the group. The Indian Express reached out to the principals of four schools. While one said she “didn’t want to comment”, two did not take calls or respond to messages. The principal of one of the Delhi schools said: “It appears that some of the students who were part of the group were from our school. By the time we got to know, a complaint had already reached police. It does come as a shock to us as we have an atmosphere in school that encourages discussion around issues of gender and respect, as well as cyber crime. We have had several workshops. Schools try to build a secure but open space for children where discussion is encouraged. I also believe that the involvement of parents in their children’s lives is very important when it comes to things like these. Parents need to take on these roles, and not just that of disciplining or leaving the child alone altogether. They are ready to give children unfettered access to smartphones but, in many cases, the discussions around responsibility and respect are missing.”
In a press statement on the matter, a Facebook spokesperson said, “We absolutely do not allow behaviour that promotes sexual violence or exploits anyone, especially women and young people, and have actioned content violating our Community Standards as we were made aware of it. We have policies that disallow the sharing of non-consensual intimate imagery, as well as threats to share such imagery and we take this issue very seriously. Ensuring our community can express themselves in a safe and respectful way is our top priority.”
A source at Instagram confirmed police have got in touch.
Mumbai-based Shubham Singh, founder of Cyber World Academy, who routinely assists Mumbai Police in cases, meanwhile said he has been approached by a few Instagram users, who were outraged by the screenshots. “We are trying to track down details of the members,” he said.
(With inputs from Sukrita Baruah)
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