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NCRB data: Maharashtra among worst in targeting women, communities online

When it came to cases of ‘insult to modesty of women’ online, Maharashtra reported 234 cases followed by Assam as a distant second at 60 cases.

Written by Mohamed Thaver | Mumbai |
September 1, 2016 1:49:07 am
online harassment, ncrb data, ncrb report, ncrb report 2015, crime data, ncrb 2015 report, onlne harassment india, india online harassment, india news Maharashtra was one of the top states with 113 cases registered in 2015.

For the second year in a row, Maharashtra continued to be one of the top states in the country when it came to using the Internet to target women and particular communities.

While Maharashtra topped the list of states where women were targeted for sexual exploitation online in 2014 and 2015, it came a close second to UP in 2015 when it came to ‘inciting hate crimes against a community’, as per data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

According to the statistics, when it came to cases of ‘insult to modesty of women’ online, Maharashtra reported 234 cases followed by Assam as a distant second at 60 cases.

There was a similar trend when it came to cases of sexual exploitation online, where Maharashtra was one of the top states with 113 cases registered in 2015.

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Cyber expert Vijay Mukhi said, “In Maharashtra, more youngsters use the Internet as compared to many other states. There have been several cases where after a young couple parts ways, the aggrieved side uses the Internet to malign the other person.”

Apart from this, even when it comes to ‘inciting hate crimes against communities’, Maharashtra with 39 cases is second only to UP. In 2014 as well, Maharashtra, at 110 cases, had the most number of such cases registered. DCP (cyber) Sachin Patil said that this was also because they have been taking FIRs in any case where photographs of religious deities are morphed and spread online.

A senior officer said there have been several cases where mischievous elements morph photographs of religious deities that are then disseminated through various social media platforms such as Whatsapp and Twitter. “This is a dangerous trend, because even if we track down the source from where such morphed photographs are spread, they have usually been shared several times since then.”

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“Last year, there was a case where a photograph of an under-construction mosque abroad was shared on Whatsapp, with the caption that an Indian mosque had been demolished,” the officer said. He added, “What makes it all the more dangerous is that people tend to believe in these things that could lead to social unrest. Sharing of such morphed photographs also had a major part to play in the Azad Maidan riots in Mumbai in 2012.”

Mukhi said, “This also puts to rest the myth that educated people are less communal. Most of those using the Internet are educated people who think that they can get away with such things. There is a need to have detarrents in place and for people to realise that they can be arrested for posting such content online.”

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First published on: 01-09-2016 at 01:49:07 am
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