Sumanti Sen is an English Literature graduate who believes "there's just one kind of folks. Folks.".
In a harrowing incident of cyber harassment and offline stalking, a teenage girl from Kolkata allegedly received rape threats on Facebook over a post talking about the condition of Kashmiris.
On a status update she posted on Facebook on February 15, she condemned the Pulwama terror attack that took the lives of 40 CPRF jawans and wrote about the difficulties Kashmiris have to face every day.
In a reply to her post, some people asked her to leave the country and go to Pakistan, and others threatened her with dire consequences and rape. While one of the messages she received read, “You should be raped, Didn’t they rape you?”, another post read, “We should send boys to your room,” reported The Times Of India.
The class XII student from Kasba was called a ‘Pakistani’ and was asked to leave the country, and according to her claim, some people made lewd comments on her pictures.
Later, with the incident escalating from cyber abuse to offline stalking, she got to know from a local shopkeeper that some youths were trying to track her down with her Facebook pictures. A complaint was lodged by her, and she has been assured help by police, including providing security. The matter is being investigated by Kolkata Police’s cybercrime division.
“Initially, after receiving the threats, I had deleted my post. But after I came to know that some youths were looking for me, I decided to delete my Facebook account. I did not go to school for the last two days,” she said.
The girl said that although she had anticipated some hate comments from people who refuse to get to the bottom of the issues, she did not expect the kind of abuse she is going through. She is herself a part of an organization that works towards protecting women from sexual harassment.
“Surprisingly, none of them made those comments on the Facebook post. but sent their messages directly to my inbox. Perhaps they did not want to show others how vile their language can be,” she said.
In another incident, a woman alleged that she is getting continuous rape and death threats on Facebook over a post in which she criticised the Modi government after the Pulwama attack. According to her, most of the threats have come from right wing and VHP/RSS activists, reported India Today.
“Do those who are weeping for the Army jawans feel a similar pain for ordinary Kashmiri citizens? Will they remain left out? Just because they are Kashmiris? Kashmiri shawls and Kashmiri corpse, both are in demand,” her Facebook post read.
The woman, mother of a seven-year-old, said she was bombarded with hate messages ever since she posted it. She further said that she is scared as she thinks that these people are circulating her pictures in various groups, asking people to target her. She claimed that they are stalking her and trying to hunt her down. An FIR has been filed by her against these profiles, but any action is yet to be taken.
Days before these incidents, a Kashmiri doctor considered leaving Kolkata after his daughters complained of being ostracised in school and neighbourhood.
To live safely, securely, and happily, what is most important is rationalism. When a common citizen of any country thinks rationally, he or she condemns terrorism as an act, without giving a thought to which country the terrorists belong to. No matter how much hatred a post spreads, no one has the right to harass another over it. No matter how much a post hurts one’s sentiments, abusing and stalking can never be justified.
If people are hunted down for condemning an issue that deserves to be condemned, no one is safe in this world. It is important that we live as one and condemn terrorism together, instead of labeling one as a ‘Pakistani’ and trying to drive them out of their own city for speaking their mind out. The Logical Indian condemns such acts and urges authorities to take quick action against the accused.
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