Of around 6 lakh complaints received by women’s helpline in last 4 yrs, 90% pertained to harassment of women over mobile. In a shocking revelation, it has been reported that mobile phone numbers of young women are being sold in Uttar Pradesh by recharge outlets depending on their age and looks. According to a report in the Hindustan Times, the incident came to light after the women’s helpline set up by the chief minister was flooded with complaints regarding harassment over phone.
The report revealed that of around 6 lakh complaints received by the helpline in the last four years, 90 per cent of the cases pertained to harassment of women over mobile phone. The numbers are sold starting from Rs 50 for ‘ordinary looking’ girl, and ranges till Rs 500 for girls who are considered ‘beautiful’. The calls, which inadvertently come late at night, start with ‘I want to have friendship with you.’ The recharge shop owner passes on the contact of the women who come in to recharge their mobile phones, and also provides fake SIM cards to the miscreants with fake ID cards proofs of other customers, that they have stacked up.
There are no requirements or pre-screening processes involved in becoming a registered mobile recharge agent. One merely has to fill a form and deposit a security sum. The police strategy on the matter however, is to catch hold of the erring recharge agents, as they believe jails would over flow if those paying for the numbers were to be arrested. Instead, they are given strict warning not to repeat the offence. Speaking on the matter, Navneet Sekera, Inspector General of police, said, "No crime can be made out (against those who make the phone calls). We have booked three recharge guys so far under Section 467 for dealing in false documents."