Andhra Pradesh ranks high in cybercrime against women

HYDERABAD: Cyber crime cases against women in undivided Andhra Pradesh registered a steep increase during 2013, but the conviction rate continued to be abysmally low.

According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), undivided AP recorded 225 cases of eve-teasing and harassment, a 55% jump over 2012’s figures. The state comes only second to Maharashtra in this regard.

However, given that the conviction rate is abysmally low in the country, AP’s six convictions under the IT Act, 2000, which covers cybercrime against women, is said to be the highest for any state in the country.

Cyber crime officials distinguish such cases as either ‘online’ or ‘offline’. In offline cases, the accused is often known to the victim, making use of documentary material for abuse. Victims could also be computer or internet illiterate.

On the other hand, online cases are perpetuated by strangers to victims. Besides abuse of content on social-media, cyber crime officials said culprits also impersonate a visibly successful individual and post the impersonated profiles on matrimonial sites to attract gullible women.

“There have been cases last year when culprits impersonated a person whose name when searched yields positive results pertaining to employment. The culprits have lured women through matrimonial sites only to later extract money or jewelry. As many as 20 women were cheated in one such case,” said a senior cyber crime official while adding that many such miscreants target divorced women. According to S Vani, Supreme Court advocate, cyber crime officials discourage women and put them on the back foot. Only if they persist, a case is registered and investigated.

“Cyber crime police in Hyderabad can crack any kind of case. But I have often seen that they discourage a victim when she first approaches them with a complaint. This can deter many. Many women who persist with a case agree for ‘settlement’ to avoid legal ordeal. Even the few cases that go to court, do not result in conviction owing to technicalities of the case,” Vani said. “There is a need to sensitise all involved about technical aspects of cybercrime to improve conviction rate,” Vani added.


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