Lucknow: In shops across UP, right under the nose of the police and the administration, rape videos are being sold in hundreds, perhaps thousands, every day. Depending on the “exclusivity” of the clips, which are 30 seconds to even 5 minutes long, they are priced anywhere from Rs 50 to 150.
It’s still “under the counter” and dealers will talk only to those who’ve come armed with a trusted customer’s “reference”, but it is open and rampant. “Porn is passe. These real life crimes are the rage,” said a shopkeeper at Agra’s Kasganj market. “Dealers will download videos directly into your smart phone or put them in your pen drive.” Sometimes individuals or organised gangs download such stuff from Twitter, Tumbler or Facebook accounts and sell them. Sometimes, however, culprits involved in rapes or assaults take videos of the crime and post them online.
It is a matter of time before they go viral,” said a shopkeeper in Agra’s Kasganj market. At another shop, a man is telling teenagers that they might even know the girl in the “latest, hottest” video. In the horrifying clip, two men have pinned down a girl, who looks like she is in her early 20s. Her boyfriend is being beaten up. “Maaf karo, maaf karo (Spare me),” he is crying. The girl pleads, “Kam se kam, video toh mat utaaro (At least don’t shoot a video).”
A senior cop told TOI that rapists invariably also record the crime on their phones. It is then used as a blackmailing tool to either bully the victims -stopping them from going to the cops -or to pressure them into further sexual submission. “A threat to post the rape online is very potent,” he said. Speaking to TOI, Agra city SP Ghule Sushil Chandrabhan said, “In the past we have conducted raids at Tajganj and Sadar areas and arrested one for selling explicit videos and pirated films. We will continue to raid such places.” Sources in the police said it would be close to impossible to put an end to the trend.
On Wednesday, as a TOI team visited markets at Belanganj, Balkeshwar, Kamla Nagar and a few other areas, it found that such videos were easily available.
It’s the same story in other cities, whether Meerut or Bareilly, where last week a 21 year-old committed suicide when she found that after posting her videos online, one accused even sold her nude pictures to local residents at Rs 3 per print.
Courtesy- TOI, Arvind Chauhan (With inputs from Sandeep Rai & Piyush Rai)