Police sources indicated they have sought legal opinion on the issue after a prima facie probe indicated the post may have originated outside India before being shared by some local social media handles. “We plan to write to Facebook about the entire issue,” said a source.
Cyber law expert Bivas Chatterjee said cops can act regarding such posts. “Even if there is no rape here, this is just the sick mentality that promotes rape culture. It is obscene and derogatory and attracts sections 67 and 67A of the Information Technology Act. Even if prima facie the links appear to have originated in Bangladesh, the two countries have a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), under which, through Letter Rogatory (LR), investigators from both nations can share leads and take action,” he said.
Mental health activist Ratnaboli Ray expressed disgust that such narratives are brazenly put out in the public domain and shared. She felt it pointed to not only normalization of violence against women in our daily lives but also that one could get away with it. “This is not about perversion or insanity. This is about power and misogyny. It has become part of our DNA. Those who share this kind of content are also culpable. We must also be conscious about articulating the protest against such content without sharing it. There is a need to start a conversation on rape culture and gender-based violence. This should not be pathologized, because the moment one does so, the person who puts out such vicious content is absolved of responsibility for sharing it,” she said.
Anuradha Kapoor, founder of Swayam, a women’s rights organization committed to ending violence against women, said such behav-iour was a result of rapists going unpunished.
“People get emboldened and believe this is acceptable. Vile content going viral mirrors the acceptance in society. The impunity with which people are committing such acts is extremely unfortunate,” she said.
Pranaadhika had tweeted to Kolkata Police commissioner Anuj Sharma and joint CP (crime) Murlidhar Sharma, “Could I request @KolkataPolice @KPDetectiveDept @CPKolkata to please look into this? We have enough sexual violence around us, we do not need someone on social media who shares instructions on how to rape/gangrape women. Please help.”
Kolkata Police responded to the tweet saying, “You are requested to report the matter in detail with necessary link(s) to alleged pages/profiles, your contact details to Joint CP crime.”
However, TOI could not reach Pranaadhika for comments.