Indiscriminate use of the music and video messaging applications could land you in trouble, especially if you are a woman. What starts as an attempt to get some likes on social media sometimes ends up in unsolicited video chats, with many women becoming victims of cyberstalking.
According to police, friendships that bud from these social media applications begin with exchange of sweet talks, which in some cases progresses to nude chats that are used to blackmail the woman involved in it. Police say the public, particularly the women and college girl students, should be more careful while using these mobile applications.
Last year, a woman from the city was forced to kill herself after her friend in Gulf recorded her nude video call and blackmailed her. A resident of Saibaba Colony, she was married with a four-year-old daughter. She ended life on December 10, 2018, and her husband, who happened to check her mobile phone, found that she was blackmailed by two people. He immediately approached the Saibaba Colony police.
Preliminary inquiry revealed that the woman was in the habit of using Smule, a music app, and Line, an instant communication app. “She befriended M Mohammed Rafiq, 28, a native of Panruti in Cuddalore district, through Smule two years ago. They soon became close friends and exchanged their mobile numbers. Rafiq, who was working in Dubai, often phoned her up and conversations gradually turned lewd. He then made her make nude video calls, which he recorded to threaten the woman,” a police officer said.
When Rafiq told her that he wanted to meet her at her house on December 10, she approached her close friend for help and the latter introduced her to R Aditya, a graduate from Coonoor in Nilgiris district. But Aditya too sought ‘favour’ from her. Unbale to bear the harassment, she took the extreme step on the day when Rafiq had threatened to visit her house. The city police have arrested the duo, who are now behind bars.
“The woman was having a beautiful family, but she was lured by the charm of social media applications. If you do obscene chat, you are likely to be blackmailed at some point of time. If the victim approaches us, we could help by seizing all the videos and arresting the blackmailers,” said Balaji Saravanan, deputy commissioner of police (law and order).
In a similar incident, a 33-year-old woman was blackmailed by her friend, who recorded her nude video call. A resident of Peelamedu, she befriended Mohana Kannan, 29, from Namakkal, on Facebook three months ago and he used to chat with her through Facebook messenger. When they grew close, she obliged to his requests to make nude video calls, which he recorded and used to extort gold ornaments weighing 24 sovereigns from her, a mother of two (daughters).
Unbale to bear the torture, she finally narrated everything to her husband, who was employed with a reputed firm. He approached police, who formed a special team and arrested Mohana Kannan along with his associate Parimala.
Pointing out that many educated young women and college girl students were now approaching them to get rid of such blackmailers, the deputy commissioner of police said the victims’ identity would be protected at any cost and that concern shouldn’t deter victims from seeking police help. “To show their talents and get some likes, many women and college girls download mobile applications like Smule, TikTok and Musical.ly. But they need to be careful while chatting with the people, who they meet on these platforms. If they breach the limits, they will get into trouble. They should not do nude video calls or share obscene photos. Now, some are using applications to record video calls and they will be villains in future. We appeal the women and girls to use the mobile applications with care.”