Published: 22nd October 2019
Maharashtra, Telangana and MP have 1 in 2 stalking cases in India, reveals NRCB data
In the category of publishing sexually explicit content and obscene material, UP tops the list in the recently released NCRB data. But is this the whole extent of the cases of stalking in the country?
A total of 8,145 cases of stalking have been registered in 2017, according to the latest NCRB data for 2017 released on Monday. The numbers have steadily increased in the last three years as well and Maharashtra (1545), Telangana (1243) and Madhya Pradesh (1163) top the list among the states to have the most number of incidences. However, in a digital age such as hours, cyberstalking often precedes the actual physical stalking. But we continue to be a country that is hesitant to register complaints. This reflects in the NCRB data.
With cyberstalking/cyberbullying the numbers are lower — ironically though, out of the 530 registered cases, 301 are from Maharashtra. Even though conversations about physical safety are being had more regularly, despite being in the digital age, Indians continue to shy away from talking about online safety. So far, only Maharashtra seems to be the one state that is reporting these crimes, most other states have zero occurrences of these events.
"The only way to bring down the number of cyber crimes in the country is to come forward and lodge a complaint. It is the only way. The police department is very much ready and willing to help people, so we have to trust that they are going to help," Sherin Bosko, a social activist and the co-founder of Nakshatra, an NGO, said.
Bosko said that the only reason that perpetrators feel brave enough to blackmail their victims is that they firmly believe that the victims are too scared to seek help. "The blackmailers know that the person is vulnerable and so they take advantage of that. They know that the victims would not choose to go outside for help, so we have to start going to the police more," she added. Bosko believes it is of utmost importance for people to change their attitude and we need to speak up more. "If they really do fear the police, they can also approach NGOs and social workers who can then help them through the process," she explained.
A lot of the cyberbullying happens after perpetrators get their hands on any obscene material. NCRB records show that Uttar Pradesh leads in this category. Out of the 1726 reported cases of publication/transmission of obscene/sexually explicit act in electronic form, 517 cases have been registered in UP. Following far behind is Assam with 288 cases. Karnataka is next with 157 cases, all the other states have two-digit number cases and some have none at all.
The occurrences of cases of 'Obscene Acts and Songs' is also very high, NCRB states about 29,557 such incidences take place in the country. Madhya Pradesh tops this list. Tamil Nadu is in third place.