When World Wide Web turns into a potent weapon

Barpeta Road (Main Uddin): Smartphones and social media applications have taken crimes of passion to a new level. In the days of yore, a jilted lover would have killed his girlfriend. Today, he can do far worse. He can kill her honour. A break-up with boyfriend now results in nude photos of the woman circulating on WatsApp or some pornographic site, triggering an unending chain of repeated views, multiple downloads and limitless sharing.

According to the Mumbai police, arrival of digital age has complicated matters for them. Earlier, the investigation into a crime of passion was an easier job as the accused would be the jilted lover and the motive was clear. However, in the era of internet, it has become a challenge to tackle the menace.

“Such crimes are committed out of jealousy and insecurity and in earlier times the jilted lover would physically harm the victim or their family members be it a murder or an acid attack,” said deputy commissioner of police Dhananjay Kulkarni.

The officer added, “Such crimes are reflection of eroded values that are existing in the society at present. I believe these crimes are more in urban cities as in rural areas people think about the backlash from the society.”

Last year, the city police registered 114 cases in connection with obscene emails/sms/mms as against 29 registered in 2013. An officer from Mumbai police said, “Cyberspace is loaded with vulgar pictures of women, and most of them are there because someone whom they trusted had breached their trust. The menace would grow if not checked on time.”

Parents risking their kids’ future by not spending time with them

Interview with Dr Harish Shetty, leading Psychiatrist

What are the main reasons for crime of passion?

Lack of education on how to live life is the primary reason for such crimes. When obsessions overpowers all the reasoning in a man, he commits such a crime. Hence, one has to have a spiritual knowledge to make sure that he knows that what is good and bad for him.

Are people committing such crimes mentally sick? Do they show any symptoms at early stages?

Obsession is the primary reason for such crimes and later jealousy comes into play. I won’t call them mentally sick, but yes they don’t behave normally when it comes to the thing that they are obsessed with. Identification would be difficult, but people who tend to do such crimes have a negative background, either poverty or neglect, lack of love etc.

What is your take on the new-age crime of passion like porn pics and lewd messages?

Technology is being misused more than just being used. Today, parents are so busy that they don’t have time for their kids. A child grows up with TV and internet. He has access to all the wrong things and uses it accordingly to commit a crime. Parents need to ensure that they give love and time to their child because if they fail to do that they are risking their child’s future.

What can be done to prevent such crimes?

First is to identify the problem and then such people need to be counseled. I believe that the counseling at school level is important and it has to be done in all schools. The parents have to take active participation in the life of the child.