The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Met on Net, hounded day and night

“…We (separately) met Sunjiib on After a few days’ interaction with him on the Net, we found him unsuitable. When we ‘broke’ off with him, he started harassing us… threatening us over mail, SMS and phone, and sending character-assassinating e-mails to our bosses/colleagues. We have been absolutely traumatised and fear for our physical safety, since he has access to our official/residential addresses/ numbers…”

A desperate plea from two women in Calcutta being hounded for close to six months by a Netizen in Goa. One had her boss emailed about her “promiscuous” lifestyle, another had her mother rung up at home and harassed.

The two ‘victims’ of a growing form of cyber crime found each other by accident and decided to take joint action to try and stop their harasser. On Tuesday, they lodged a complaint with the women’s grievance cell of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

“There are a number of things that a woman can do in such a situation,” explains Jacqueline Dorji, CID deputy superintendent of police (DSP). “Filing an FIR means the police can take immediate action. A general diary essentially provides information to the police, which we can follow up on.”

Getting accurate information is not easy when it comes to cyber crime, she admits. “In the case of these two women, we have to ascertain whether this Sunjiib actually exists or not, in terms of whether the name, telephone number, address and even his photograph are fictitious, somebody else’s, or actually his. We will get in touch with Panaji police to ascertain the details. I have also asked them to file general diaries with their local police stations.”

One of the factors, according to Dorji, encouraging such cyber criminals is that so few cases are reported, particularly by young girls loath to lodge a complaint, fearing the stigma during their search for a husband.

The two women, one employed with an NGO and the other with a private bank, who have decided to come out, continue to face the “non-stop harassment”, on mail and mobile. Says the social worker: “I feel disgusted, physically and emotionally, about the whole affair… I want my life to be normal again.”

The banker sums up: “My mother is now afraid for my life, and I am scared to cut off all contact with Sunjiib, in case he gets nastier. I just want the nightmare to end.”

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