cyber harassment


In a series of shocking revelations, a student from a reputed private university in Sonipat was accused of eight cases of sexual harassment.

Trigger Warning- Harassment, Gaslighting, Abuse

On 6th May, a student of a premier institution took to Instagram to talk about how she was repeatedly harassed, manipulated and gaslighted by a fellow batchmate. Speaking to DU Beat, the victim recounts her story “He coerced me into physical intimacy, forced me into oral sex, and also tried to stop me from having other friends. He would get “jealous” of my other friends, and get angry but in reality, he just wanted me to not talk to anyone else about any of the stuff that he did to me.” The victim also talked about how their sexual interactions were allegedly recorded multiple times without consent and stored despite him being asked to delete the same.

In response to these allegations, the perpetrator allegedly instead chose to attack her character. “I have been called a ‘sick fuck’ and a “lying, manipulative, attention-seeking, clout mongering whore”. I have been threatened with a ‘defamation case’ by my perpetrator.” “Other than him, his ‘supporters’ have left no dearth of saying things to force me to take the posts down, starting from slut-shaming to death threats. I deal with countless such DMs”. The victim has chosen to pursue this matter with the internal complaints committee in her college.

After this, a lot of other people also chose to come out with their stories in public. One of the victims alleged how she had to face continuous nagging to indulge in sexual acts she did not want to and how she was coerced and manipulated into sending nudes. “There was more of mental harassment. A lot of times, it wasn’t my fault, but he made me think it was.”

“I’ve got screenshots of him asking me sext with him and call him and send pictures while he was dating another girl in October 2019. I was drunk during Diwali, and I was talking to him for some reason so on 27th October, he asked if I plan to get drunk again because he thought drunk me would send him nudes, when the day before, a very drunk me had denied that.”


The victim talks about how as a fourteen-year-old, she was forced to take birth control pills since the perpetrator allegedly did not want to wear a condom while having sex. A pattern of an attempt at controlling other relationships was allegedly seen in this relationship too, “He wanted me to choose him over my own family, got jealous of my brother because I could spend time with him. He was against one of my friends because she didn’t like him, so he wanted me to physically hurt her, or else he would break up with me.” Here too, the victim talks about how she was manipulated into sending him nude pictures of herself, which he still possesses and not only resurfaced later with several other accounts online but were also allegedly used by him to masturbate even when he was dating someone else.


One of the perpetrator’s ex-girlfriends said “Yes, mostly it (sex) was coerced because he chose to ignore if I wanted to do it or not. He’d coerce me into sexting and sending pictures which I clearly didn’t want to at that point but he’d throw tantrums or break up with me. It was really immature, to begin with.” On being asked if he apologised, she said “No he hasn’t. in fact, after breaking up I chose to remain silent and get rid of him being the bigger person but he chose to slander me online making jokes on my insecurity so it’s safe to say he wasn’t even apologetic. He’d post chat screenshots of his friends humiliating me, joking about insecurities that I trusted him with. One of them even made a meme about how I keep going back to my ex when I merely talked to him for a while.”

There were several more victims who chose to not make their stories public because of fear of backlash from the accused and his friends.


Feature Image Credits: The Vice

Khush Vardhan Dembla

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On 3rd May, social media users of Instagram and Twitter exposed an Instagram group chat called ‘Bois Locker Room’ which contained boys from several Delhi NCR Schools objectifying women.

The group had boys aged around 16-18, who indulged in stalking and sharing pictures of womxn, including minors; passing vulgar comments, body shaming, and slut shaming. These men shared several nude pictures in the aforementioned group too. These chats have gone viral on Twitter and Instagram, and have made several people to speak out about the toxic misogynist culture perpetuated in schools by cis-het men.

Following are some of the chats from the group:


[Trigger Warning: Slut Shaming, verbal abuse, rape ideation]

Following the expose of the group chat “Bois Locker Talk”, another group was formed namely “Jai ka skirt skrt gang” where the members of the former chat talked about damage control by threatening to injure everyone who put up a story. One of the members said, “I’m gonna make some calls and turn this shit around” while the rest talked about possible switching of accounts, deactivation and shocker – making a despotic group chat like this on Snapchat next time. Several Instagram accounts with usernames such as @boiislockerroom and @boys_locker_room69, amongst many others have been made and are serving as the revival of the previous group. The account holders are posting up stories blaming the attempt of the girls as merely an act to seek popularity and attention. The latter of the two, mentioned above has recently put up a story declaring, ”I have contacted the best lawyer in the city, AP Singh who was the defence lawyer of the four accused people in Nirbhaya case. He is ready to take up the case and assured that not even a single thing will happen.” he ended the story with asking the people to peace out.

Ashna Sharma, one of the first whistle blowers of this event told DU Beat, “I have honestly put everything out there. I genuinely have a lot of things to say but at this point I am so drained out. A lot of minors are involved and I don’t want to cause them or their reputation any harm. Nevertheless thank you for spreading this. These guys deserve to be exposed.”

Parth Vashisht, one of the former members of the Group Chat said, “Whatever was in the group was outright disgusting, it cannot be tolerated. However accusing someone falsely wasn’t the right thing. I’ve been receiving death threats too. As far as I know, the group wasn’t made to pass degrading comments on girls, it was just a normal group. I was not aware of this, and I believe the ones who are guilty should be punished.”

Students from several schools of Delhi NCR have rightfully condemned this incident, those who personally knew the boys and went to the same school as them have expressed shock, disgust and despair. Many of the group chat members hailed from the erstwhile prestigious schools of India – and students have come forward and identified them as their juniors, seniors and batchmates. Several of them  were pass outs of these schools.

One of the victims, told about Tushar Rijhwani, an active participant of the group, “It gives me extreme pain to announce that I have been in a relationship with Tushar; during my entire tenure of dating him for an year, he has emotionally manipulated me and has shown my private pictures to his friends. After 12th boards, which is usually a time for students to enjoy and celebrate, I was in a major depression because of him.” She further said,”He used to talk a lot of ill stuff about his parents and mother, now I feel a boy who can not respect his own mother, how can we expect him to respect other women.” She further pointed out that she thinks he is in need of professional help as she spoke about certain incidents where he behaved abnormally.

A member of the group chat posted on Instagram story, “I just want to say that I realize the gravity of my mistake and I’m in no position to defend myself in any way. I take full responsibility for my actions. I would like to publicly apologize to every single person, especially all the women I’ve angered. I know we do not deserve this, but please I beg you to not take any further actions as it would be detrimental for us.” One of the admins of the Group Chat posted on his private Instagram account, “Such incidents are supposed to make us become aware of our acts, and not to do it again. I saw my best friends leave, I had panic attacks, anxiety, self loathing and suicidal thoughts. The only way forward is to accept what happened, own up to it and apologize. I will make sure that I, and my friends in the group never repeat such behaviour. We are still fresh out of school and have a whole life ahead of us that would be affected by some stupid testosterone fuelled decisions.” DU Beat reached out for a comment from both, but have received none so far.

According to News18, this issue has been taken up with lawyers as well as security agencies. Following the outrage, Shubham Singh, a cyber cell investigator who is on Instagram under the name @Shubhamcybercop started an investigation and managed to find the contact information of some of the members and admin of the groups in question. As per latest updates, some members of the group have been arrested under Section 66A of the IT Act for cyber bullying. The Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) has issued a notice to the authorities of Instagram and Delhi Police asking them to provide the names, Insta handles, Email-Ids, IP addresses, locations and further details of the accused boys, by 8th May, so that a proper action can be  sought against each. “This is a very serious matter wherein an open media platform is being used for illegal activities. In view of the same the commission has instituted an enquiry into the matter”, the official notice comprised.

‘Boys locker room’ and the other parallel online groups like these are just a manifestation of the toxic savarna cis-het culture of Indian schools, that glorify abuse of power by men. There is a vagrant display of toxic masculinity and inherent misogyny in various forms across social media, something which is glorified. Films, songs, and pop culture propagate the objectification of womxn in all spheres. This particular instance is a reflection of the hegemony of ‘privileged’ schools which often protects these boys while promoting a culture unsafe for womxn, offline and online. The ‘boys will be boys’ mentality needs to end, all of them should be held accountable for their actions.

However, according to recent updates, Delhi Police has identified all the members present in the group and will be examined by the Delhi Police Cyber Hub.
Featured Image Credits: The Vice

On 15th May, 2019, a girl named Paridhi (@the_centaur on Instagram) posted a series of stories, revealing the cyber harassment one of her friends faced while applying for an internship on Internshala.

Internshala is one of India’s largest website providing students with ample opportunities for internships at different companies across the country. As of 2018, the platform has 3.5 million students registered and 80,000 companies associated with them.

On 15th May 2019, a girl named Paridhi uploaded stories talking about the kind of cyber harassment one of her friends underwent with regards to an internship offer from a company named Zvaari.com. Paridhi’s friend went on Internshala to look for an internship, and was contacted by a person from the aforementioned company, who made claims about working with graphics for Nike, Facebook, and Apple. But, to her, these did not add up to the information present on the website. The person also asked her for a deposit of INR 2,400 to provide her with a secure laptop for work purposes, claiming that the money would be refunded. After realising that this offer did not sound safe, the girl decided not to go for the internship.

Thereafter, she received explicit and inappropriate images and messages on her WhatsApp. After multiple such complaints were reported to Internshala, they mailed applicants an advisory note to inform them that they have blocked the company from using their platform as the company “violated their policies”. Unhappy with such a response, Paridhi used her Instagram account to post her disgust for this issue and she gathered support from her followers to repost her stories so that Internshala would take some concrete action.

Part 1 of the stories shared by Paridhi. Image Source: Instagram account of Paridhi
Part 1 of the stories shared by Paridhi.
Image Source: Instagram account of Paridhi
Part 2 of the stories shared by Paridhi. Image Source: Instagram account of Paridhi
Part 2 of the stories shared by Paridhi.
Image Source: Instagram account of Paridhi

Paridhi’s stories garnered an immediate outrageous reaction and Kavya, a worker from Internshala, went ahead to message a private apology to her. She updated her on the situation and told her the actions Internshala is willing to take to further strengthen their verification procedures, in order to avoid anything like this in the future.

When DU Beat contacted Kavya, she responded by stating, “This is a very unfortunate incident and no student should have to experience this. We deeply apologise to the students for the extremely poor experience. We have a huge sense of moral responsibility towards our students and while we are handling this issue, we are also looking on ways to strengthen our internship authentication process further so as to avoid any such issue in the future.” She also went on to elaborate the verification procedure undertaken by Internshala, and added that in this particular case, the employer had registered from an official email address, had provided a functional website link, Facebook page, and his phone number was verified via a one-time password (OTP) so that he could be traced if required. Kavya went on to add that Internshala has acknowledged the student’s complaint and, as per the standard operating procedure, has blocked the employer account on the platform and sent an advisory email to all the other applicants of the same internship. She also stated that given the gravity of the situation, they are also exploring possible legal actions that can be taken against the employer and have informed the student about the same. She stated, “We are deeply pained by this incident and are committed to providing all necessary support to the affected students.”

This form of cyber bullying and harassment has increased over the years. Girls receive explicit images, texts, and even rape threats on their personal mobile numbers. For it to happen via a seemingly secure platform, popular among the youth, like Internshala speaks a lot about the lack of cyber security, as well as the sexually violent and frustrated mindsets of men who feel safe enough to harass girls under the veil of technology. Such acts of oppression against females are examples of power struggle and hypermasculinity girls all over the world are fighting against.

Social media, in such cases, has turned out to be a boon in some cases by empowering the violated ones to speak about the problems. These people, or their well wishers, have fortunately come up, sharing their stories of such unfortunate instances on their social media platforms and garnered support from people. More power to these young women who are not shying away from taking a stand, going out there and telling their stories. It is a jarring world and support does change things.

Feature Image Source: Instagram account of Paridhi (@the_centaur)

Sakshi Arora

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