In a horrific practise that has been noticed by the cops, mobile numbers of girls are being sold from local recharge stores across Uttar Pradesh. And what s even more appalling is that these number are being priced based on the looks of the girl s to whom the numbers belong, and consequently are being used by men to harass these girls with repeated calls and obscene pictures.
So basically how this works is, when a girl goes to these local recharge outlets for top-ups, they of course share their mobile number with these stores. However, creating a grisly racket out of this, these shameless and unethical retail owners have been saving these numbers, eventually offering the number to people who are willing to pay for it, reports Hindustan Times. The publication found out that these number are priced from Rs 50 and can go up to Rs 500, based on how beautiful the girl is.
And in order to create anonymity, these recharge outlets also offer to sell these people SIM cards under fake identity, so that in case of an enquiry, their personal details are unable to be tracked. Navneit Sekera, an inspector general of police told the publication that anonymity is key to this entire racket. The rechargers often help them buy SIMs with fake IDs that he keeps in stacks at his store.
Another concerning angle to this racket is how easy it actually is to become a mobile recharger agent. All one needs to do is fill up a form and deposit a security amount with an agency that mediates between the individual and the mobile service operator. ALSO READ: WhatsApp forward promising PM Modi scheme for double recharge is a scam
This whole racket began to come to light when four years ago chief minister Akhilesh Yadav set up a 1090 helpline for women, which was flooded with complaints by women on gratuitous phone calls. Reportedly, out of a total of 600,000-odd complaints that were registered using the helpline, about 90 percent were related to harassment on phone.
An individual named Mohammed, who was involved in the racket, by participating in purchase of these numbers confessed to the publication describing this as some harmless fun. He said that he and his friends use these purchased numbers to strike friendships, sometimes send over vulgar pictures to these girls over WhatsApp.
According to statistics shared by HT, the highest number complaints have been in Lucknow with over 1.3 lakh complaints registered in the period of four years, from 15 November 2010 to 31 December 2016. Following Lucknow are Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi and Agra. ALSO READ: Beware of WhatsApp video calling invite link, it s a spam
However, even with such large amount of complaints being registered, apparently buying or selling women s numbers has not landed anyone in jail so far in the state. The cops believe that they wouldn t be able to file enough charges against these people to register a crime, therefore they go behind these recharge outlets who enable the purchase of SIM cards under fake identity. We have booked three recharge guys so far under Section 467 for dealing in false documents, a police official said.
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