A tale of endless harassment
I met a man named MD Shakir Hussain when I was living in Paharganj. His sister-in-law was our neighbour and was very close to us —like a family member — so she used to visit often. Hussain used to accompany her sometimes.
When he sent me a friend request on Facebook, I accepted it. We also used to talk on WhatApp and I considered him a friend. Our interaction went on for 2-3 years. Then he proposed marriage to me, but I did not accept his proposal. Moreover, I was only 14 at that time.
In 2016, when I was out of town for an exam, he called my father and told him that I am into sex work. My father severed all ties with me and did not even let me enter the house. So, I shifted to Haiderpur. But Hussain followed me there.
Once when I was out for a shoot, he came to the place where I lived, identified himself as my cousin and entered my room. He stole some of my things, including an LED TV. I got so scared that I shifted to Karawal Nagar. But he did the same thing there and had the audacity to post all these items for sale on a fake Facebook account —using my name. He also used to book contracts in my name for shoots and get the money transferred to his account.
In 2017, I met Sandeep and we started interacting. I got married to him this year. When Hussain got to know about our marriage, he started blackmailing me. He created multiple fake Facebook accounts using my name where he wrote obscene things like ‘I am a call girl’, ‘I can spend a night with someone for Rs 500’ and ‘I had sex with my father’.
The first complaint that I made against him was at Paharganj police station. But they did not take any action. Instead, they told me to go to Mandir Marg police station. When I went there, I got the same response. I had all the evidence, but still they did not act on it and sent me to Daryaganj police station. From there I was sent to the Cyber Crime Cell, Delhi.
Hussain had created seven fake Facebook profiles. After reporting at the Cyber Cell office, only one could be deleted. Then to avenge that, he created a fake profile of my husband where he posted things like ‘I have raped my mother and sister’. He even created a fake WhatsApp profile with my name and started texting my contacts because of which I lost many acquaintances and work contacts. They started thinking that I am involved in something wrong. I almost lost all the contacts I made in my career of five years.
Hussain then started blackmailing me by saying that he will delete all my fake accounts only if I go and spend two days with him in Bangalore. Since police was not taking any action, I decided to set a trap and agreed to go to Bangalore. But as planned by my husband, I got down at Khandwa where we have relatives. I told Hussain that I missed my train and asked him to come there. He agreed and said that I will have to spend two days with him in Khandwa.
My husband reached Khandwa and took the help of local police. As planned, that very evening Hussain was arrested by the Khandwa police. But he got out on bail the next day. The moment he got out, he called me and threatened to kill my father. I recorded the call and gave it to Kotwali police station at Khandwa. The police tracked his location and arrested him from the ashram where he was hiding.
He was then taken into custody by Delhi Police at New Ashok Nagar police station on September 6. But we are being troubled by police since then. They are calling me to the police station at odd hours like 2 am and are asking for my phone. I have said time and again that I have all the proof against the accused but still they are taking a lot of time to take any action.
All I want is that no other girl should suffer like I did. I lost ties with my family and contact with acquaintances from work, due to this harassment. My father has not spoken to me since years. I have even stayed at a railway station for days because of all this trouble. I am scared about what he might do if he again gets bail. All he says is that he wants me, and wants to be with me. And he was also extracting money by such means. But my husband and his family have supported me throughout, and thus I am doing whatever I can to get justice.
— As told to Shruti Das
l According to Norton Cyber Security Insights Report by Norton by Symantec, India ranks the highest among a few Asian countries in cyber bullying with 53 per cent currently utilising the internet between the ages of 8 to 17 (As of 2016)
l According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2016 report, Delhi and Chandigarh were on top of the list with the highest rate of cybercrime among Union Territories
l About 12,317 cybercrime cases were reported in 2016 – an increase of 6% from the cases in 2015– as revealed by NCRB data.
l In 2012, Global Youth Online Behaviour — a survey conducted by Microsoft in 25 countries — revealed that India ranks third in cyberbullying in the world.