MUMBAI: One woman is stalked or bullied on social media every day in Maharashtra.
As per the latest 2019 data released by the
National Crime Records Bureau
, Maharashtra reported the highest number of cases of cyberstalking/bullying of women for three years in a row - 1,126.
In another dubious distinction, Maharashtra also accounted for one-third of the total 2,051 cyberstalking/bullying cases reported across India from 2017 to 2019. Andhra Pradesh came a distant second with 184 cases and Haryana third with 97 cases.
According to psychologist Nirali Bhatia, it's usually vengeance or sadism that drives most cyber offenders.
"Feeling powerful, as in having control over another, is what makes the whole act pleasurable for these criminals. The internet makes it easy as it grants anonymity," she said.
Maharashtra was ranked second among states in cybercrimes against women with 1,503 cases in 2019 as against 1,262 in 2018 — a 19% rise. Karnataka topped the list registering a 50% rise in cases — 2,698 in 2019 as compared to 1,374 in 2018. The conviction rate in cybercrimes in Maharashtra in the three years has been very poor with just 56 of the 4,500-plus arrested offenders sentenced to jail.
Cyber lawyer Prashant Mali said the reason for the poor conviction rate is a three-fold problem of the police, judiciary and government. “Understanding of electronic evidence, its usage and production is poor in the police force. Maharashtra has initiated huge training activity but that will take time,” he said.
Urging women to come forward to report such crimes, state cyber superintendent of police Balsing Rajput said, “Women can directly register the offence on our website cybercrime.gov.in.”