Screenshots from an Instagram group called Bois Locker Room have created quite a stir on Twitter and Facebook over the last couple of days. Delhi schoolboys, primarily from Class 11 and Class 12, as its participants were found sharing photos of classmates, also minors, followed by the objectification of their bodies, graphic sexualization, and even casual mentions of rape.
The infamous group was busted when Instagram user Niska Nagpal leaked chats from the group, including obscene images of around 15-16 girls which also catapulted glances over the prevalent rape culture in India. The police have so far identified almost all the 21 group members and all of them will be examined.“The mobile phone of the apprehended student has been recovered and it is also being examined,” said Delhi Police Cyber Cell. This development came in when the Delhi Commission For Women (DCW) took notice of the case and issued a notice to Instagram and Delhi Police asking them to take action against this group. The DCW’s notice mentioned that it had received several screenshots of the private chat group.“This commission has received a number of screenshots related to this group which is extremely objectionable and explicitly mentions rape threats to even minor girls. Members of this group also have personal information about these minor girls,” the DCW’s notice read. Child rights also got involved as the case includes juveniles both as accused and victims. Priyank Kanoongo, the chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, told ThePrint (NCPCR), “We have taken cognizance of this matter. A detailed report is being prepared regarding this, which will be sent to Instagram soon.” Delhi Police has been asked to file a report on action taken by it by May 8.
As the reports by LiveLaw have it, Advocates Anand Varma (AOR), Kaustubh Prakash, and Shubhangni Jain practicing in the Supreme court have written a 5-page letter seeking criminal action in the given case. Lawyers lay stress on the fact that Instagram may cite privacy concerns being involved and use the same to delay proceedings. Believing that a timely investigation is the need of the hour, the Apex Court has been approached to monitor the probe and to get a fair redressal. Other than this, letter throws light on the easy hindrance of women’s privacy and rights through such platforms and how the online verse can be directed to bully, harass or objectify someone, which requires rectification. Since the case involves juveniles, sensitization, and counseling, the letter stresses that the supreme court’s intervention is much needed.
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