Times of India | 2 months ago | 28-09-2022 | 04:35 pm
RAJKOT: A 65-year-old influential businessman of the city was profusely sweating despite the AC chill in the cyber crime police station recently. The fear of his ‘nude video’ getting leaked online had been haunting him for a few days. A victim of sextortion, the businessman approached police only after being persuaded by some influential people. The businessman could be one of the lesser high-profile targets, but the cyber crime police here have been getting at least 10 applications of sextortion daily for the last three months. Preliminary investigation revealed that the sextortionists are operating from remote villages of Mewat and Bharatpur districts in Haryana and Rajasthan which have emerged as the new phishing hubs after the infamous Jamtara. A senior official said that despite several campaigns to create awareness about such crimes by the police and other government agencies, educated and reputed people of the city are falling prey to such tempting calls and offers. Even as the latest victim claimed that the video was morphed, cyber experts assert that it was genuine and the person seen removing his clothes in the clip was him. Assistant commissioner of police (ACP), cyber crime, Vishal Rabari said, “One of the gang members, mostly a woman, first initiates a Whatsapp chat and gains trust of the target. Gradually, the talks become titillating and she lures him to get naked by promising to reciprocate. The video is immediately recorded by the gang using a special software and then the blackmailing starts.” In the majority of cases, victims fear societal shame and strike truce with the gang after paying the ransom with some negotiations. Police said the victims don’t wish to lodge an FIR but at the same time they urge cops to warn them in the strictest possible language. “The data of mobile phone users are sold illegally and such fraudsters purchase it. They identify the victim, mostly senior citizens who are not well-versed with operating smartphones. They also steal the data of the victim’s contacts,” Rabari explained. As the fraudsters use various VPN and VoIP networks, it’s hard to trace them.
Assam Chief Minister and one of the star campaigners of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat elections, Himanta Biswa Sarma, on Monday launched an attack on opposition Congress for providing such an eco-system to the country where issues likes love jihad became very easy, and called for a law against love jihad that is possible “only in the BJP government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.On his second visit to Gujarat for campaigning, Sarma raised the infamous Delhi murder case involving Aftab Poonawala and Shraddha Walkar from Mumbai, which he had raised during his earlier visit also.The Assam CM said that before her murder, Shraddha had lodged a complaint with Maharashtra police against Aftab but an FIR was not registered. “At that time, the government in Maharashtra was that of Shiv Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party… because of Congress’s politics of appeasement, a special class has got freedom to do whatever they want… ‘you do anything and law will not touch you’. It is because of Congress’s appeasement that the country has started seeing incidents like that of Aftab-Shradhha.”Sarma mentioned that Shraddha was cut into 34 pieces and such gruesome murder is possible only if some other agenda was attached to it. “Else, you will never cut a person, with whom you have lived for some time, into 34 pieces,” he said.“Therefore, I believe that the country needs a law against love jihad. And it can be possible only in the BJP government under the leadership of Narendra Modi,” Sarma said.Defending his statement that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has started looking like Saddam Hussain (former chief of Iraq), Sarma said, “Some people from Congress got unhappy (with my comment). What is there to be unhappy about? I did not call him Bahadur Shah Zafar (the last emperor of the Mughal dynasty). I only said that your face looks like Saddam (Hussain). Remove the beard and again you will look like Rahul (Gandhi). What is the problem? That is my assessment. You are giving it publicity by trolling me,” Sarma said.Mentioning about the BJP manifesto for the Gujarat elections, Sarma said that the issues like checking love jihad, commitment for Uniform Civil Code, work against radicalisation, increasing medical insurance for poor from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh, resolve against terrorism, announcement to express readiness to hold Olympics, etc., have come up during the Gujarat elections.“The country has started feeling the agenda of 2024 (Lok Sabha elections) on which issues the 2024 elections will be fought,” he said, adding that Congress did not control terrorism in the country, but it was done by PM Modi after 2014.Sarma said that the BJP is set to win more than 150 seats in the current state assembly elections and more than 400 in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.In reply to a question whether he was trying to polarise Hindu voters in Gujarat, Sarma said, “What is the problem in it? Don’t Hindus have a right to talk like a political force? Is it only the right of (Asaduddin) Owaisi to polarise? ”“We too have a right to talk about Sanatan Sanskruti in India, to talk about Hindu asmita (pride) and also talk against the exploitation of women in Muslim community. Why do you think that by talking about Hindu pride, the country will be polarised?”Replying to a question on radicalisation, Sarma said that nobody is saying that an entire community is radicalised. “There are patriots in that community as well. But unfortunately, Popular Front of India (PFI) and Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) also come from that community. So, we have to accompany the patriots from that class and destroy the radicals.”In its manifesto, the BJP has promised to have a cell against radicalisation. Sarma said that we need to have a “vaccine” against radicalisation.Sarma also campaigned for BJP candidates Hardik Patel in Viramgam and Alpesh Thakor in Gandhinagar South constituencies later in the day. In Motera area of Ahmedabad, which falls under Gandhinagar South constituency, Sarma participated in a programme organised by the local Assamese population.
GANDHINAGAR: BJP leader and Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Monday that the murder of Shraddha Walkar involving her live-in partner Aaftab Poonawala is a fallout of the Congress’ appeasement politics and called for a law to tackle incidences of “love jihad”. Speaking to reporters at the state BJP headquarters, Sarma alleged “love jihad” incidents became normal in India because of an “eco-system created by Congress”. “Because of the appeasement politics of Congress, a particular class of people started thinking that authorities will not touch them no matter what they do. That is why we are now seeing such cases. Love jihad incidents became normal in India because of an ecosystem created by Congress,” Sarma said while referring to the Walkar murder case. “People like Aaftab are still under the impression that they can do whatever they want and nothing will happen to them. I believe the country needs a strong law to deal with ‘love jihad’ and it can be done only under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi,” he added. He said that terrorism couldn’t be contained under Congress’ rule because of its “appeasement politics”. “After 2014, you must have observed, the word terrorism has become almost obsolete. Terrorism could not be contained during the Congress rule because of appeasement politics,” he claimed. Sarma also stressed the need for the implementation of a Uniform Civil Code in the country and claimed B R Ambedkar was in favour of the UCC but Jawaharlal Nehru (the first PM of independent India) stalled his plans.
AHMEDABAD: As Rajkot police and later CID (crime) have been unable to trace a minor girl for more than three years, in a case of alleged elopement, the Gujarat high court asked the deputy inspector general (DIG) of police to take appropriate action against the erring police officials. The bench headed by Justice A J Desai directed the DIG concerned to look into the investigation carried out for the last three years to find the minor girl form Rajkot and come up with a report on it by December 19. A 14-year-old girl had eloped with one Saddam Makwana alias Ghugho in May 2019. The girl’s father lodged an FIR at Gandhigram police station in Rajkot. The police filed a summary report in court, saying Makwana was not traceable. The complainant approached the HC through advocate Nirav Sanghavi and filed a habeas corpus petition. The HC did not find the police’s action of filing a summary report appropriate and ordered it to continue the investigation. The HC directed a deputy commissioner of police in Rajkot to supervise the probe. However, the investigation did not yield results and the HC transferred the probe to CID (crime) January 2022 and asked the agency to intensify the search for the girl. The agency recorded the statement of a woman, at whose place Makwana had stopped for a while after the elopement. The woman told the court that her statement was recorded ten times. When the case came up for hearing last week, Sanghavi submitted that it has been more than three years and police have not been able to locate the girl. This led the bench to order the DIG to supervise the probe and permitted the top cop to take action against erring police officials.
According to data from the CID Crime Missing Cell, about 10-15% persons listed as missing over the last several years may have returned home, yet they remain “technically” missing in police records.Among missing children, a total of 58 missing children from 20 districts were found by police. After deletion of their names from the missing list, 2,610 children are still missing in Gujarat.A year ago in October 2021, a total of 166 such “technically missing” persons had been stricken from police records in Ahmedabad city after CID Crime found most of these people had returned home but were still reported missing in their records.The scope of the problem is much worse in Surat, where, in September 2022, a whopping 646 people (19 children and 617 adults), some of them reported missing more than a decade ago, were “officially” said to have returned home after police officials struck them off their record books.Looking for missing people is tough for police as desperate families reach police stations immediately to file a complaint of a missing person but don’t show the same enthusiasm to approach police when he or she returns. An officer said, “However, all the blame cannot be laid at the feet of the people. In most cases, if the missing person or child is not found after two months, the file becomes dormant.”DySP Satish Chaudhary, who heads the Missing Cell in CID Crime, told Mirror, “We have seen that missing people who return home within 3 months, actually inform the police of their return. However, beyond that period there’s lack of communication between families of missing persons and police due to transfer of constables or ASIs probing the case. After trying to report once or maybe twice, the families stop trying and these people continue to show up as missing long after they return.”
ByMayur JoshiThe state police are waxing eloquent on seizing liquor in the poll season, but that is all there is to it because all accused in such prohibition cases go scot-free without conviction from the courts. The main reason thereof appears to be the fact that the police don’t include the expert opinion (of an FSL officer) that the seized liquid was liquor, in the charge-sheet. So if it is not proved whether the bottles seized in prohibition cases have liquor or not, the benefit of doubt goes to the accused.Every year, Gujarat sees thousands of prohibition cases being filed and the police receive praise regardless of whether they’ve seized one bottle or a 1,000 of them. Not a single conviction has been made in any small or big cases. Even bootleggers have no fear of this law and that is why they go back to the illegal business after being released from one case. There are many bootleggers in Gujarat who have more than two dozen prohibition cases filed against them, but they haven’t been convicted in a single one.No expert opinion on seized liquidIn any charge-sheet about prohibition cases, no expert opinions are sought on whether the liquid seized is liquor or not. And in cases where multiple bottles are seized, there is no provision to send them to the lab for examination. Thus, there is no such report annexed in the charge-sheet. Due to incomplete investigation, not a single case of prohibition is proved.-Bharat Shah, president of Metro Court Bar AssociationIncomplete charge sheets benefit accusedWhile liquor bottles have stickers saying that they are for sale in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan or Daman and Diu, it is not investigated how it managed to reach Gujarat. According to the law, the benefit of police negligence goes to the accused and they are let go scot-free. Courts should also not accept incomplete charge-sheets. The govt should give officers training on how to investigate such cases.-Amit Balsari, advocate