The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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School student’s nude images spark ruckus

Jamshedpur, Feb. 8: The steel city was rocked today by reports that the nude teenager, who features in a 45-second MMS circulating here, is the student of a well-known local school.

While it is not clear if the face of the Class XII student, slated to appear for the board examinations next month, has been morphed and manipulated, police, ignorant of cyber laws, had not lodged any case or initiated any investigation till late this evening.

The report, published in a language daily here, claimed that an anonymous source had furnished the MMS and yet another group photograph to identify the teenager.

The report named the school, prompting a group of unruly Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad ( ABVP) activists, led by student body’s national secretary Asha Lakra, to storm the school and disrupt classes. They also demanded an explanation from the principal.

School authorities called the police, who arrested eight ABVP activists, including three women. A defensive Lakra later said: “We are not in favour of disrupting classes but we will not tolerate such activities in schools.” As an after-thought, she added, “The school authorities cannot shirk their responsibility”.

The school principal denied the involvement of any student from the school and refused to react to the report.

But several boys studying in the co-educational section claimed to be aware of the MMS doing the rounds. Said one of them on condition of anonymity: “One of the boys had received the images around three months ago and many of us had seen them and even identified the student in question.”

But they remained quiet, said the student, because they were scared of the fall-out. Another student, however, said that many of them were happy to see the humiliating images because they hated “the arrogant girl”.

They also claimed to be aware that the teenaged girl was more than friendly with a young man who frequently called on her at the school.

On several occasions, they added, the girl would bunk classes and disappear during the day.

There is little the school can do, now that the girl in question has finished schooling and is preparing to appear for the board exam. But the police appeared to be ignorant of the law and its responsibility to catch the culprit who recorded the nude images and circulated them.

Pavan Duggal, a prominent lawyer at the Supreme Court and a specialist in cyber crimes, referred to Section 67 of the IT Act, which empowers the police to lodge an FIR on the basis of newspaper reports.

The guilty, pointed out Duggal, can be punished with five years’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1 lakh.

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