President Mukherjee’s daughter Sharmistha gets harassed on Facebook, FIR filed

NEW DELHI: Abusers stalking and harassing women on social media care little about the designation or reputation of their victims. This was evident when the President’s daughter herself became a victim of sexual abuse on Facebook.

Sharmistha Mukherjee. File photo: V.V. Krishnan

But Sharmistha Mukherjee chose not to ignore the alleged abuser by merely blocking him. She took to Facebook to “publicly expose and humiliate” the man before heading to the police station to submit a complaint.

Anish Roy, Additional DCP (Economic Offences Wing), said the police were in the process of registering a FIR in this connection. “The case will be registered under the IT Act and some IPC sections,” said the officer.

President Pranab Mukherjee’s daughter, Sharmistha, who also serves as Delhi Congress’s chief spokesperson, had posted screenshots of the alleged abuser’s Facebook profile and the abusive messages sent by him.

Identifying himself as Partha Mandal on Facebook, the accused appeared to have deactivated his social media account when The Hindu checked for more details about him. It is unclear if the picture used by the accused in his profile was actually his own.

“He (Mandal) sent me the vulgar messages through Facebook messenger last night (Friday). My first reaction was to block him, but I saved the screenshots as I did not want him to get away,” Ms. Mukherjee told The Hindu over phone.

“If he did not think twice before abusing the President’s daughter, would he care about other victims? My silence would encourage him to find out victims,” she said.

So, she ‘tagged’ Mandal in her post and requested her Facebook friends and followers to share the message. “Pls share this post & tag this rat as a msg that these pervert acts will not be taken lightly. (sic),” she wrote on Facebook.

Over 1,100 Facebook users ‘reacted’ to the post and it was shared around 475 times by 9 pm on Saturday, around nine hours after it was posted. An overwhelming majority of the over 600 comments hailed her for her “courageous” act.

“It is the abuser’s sense of shame, not mine. I hope his friends and family get to know about the kind of person he is,” she said minutes before heading to Mandir Marg police station where she submitted a complaint along with copies of the screenshots of the alleged abuse.

“I do not want any special attention from the police because I am the President’s daughter, though I know they will take up the case seriously. Though they must already be burdened with hundreds of such cases, I just hope they will pursue each woman’s case with sincerity,” she said, appealing to other such victims to approach the police.

Ms. Mukherjee, who unsuccessfully contested the Delhi assembly Elections on a Congress ticket last year, had made her Facebook profile ‘public’ after joining politics, so that she could better reach out to the public.