Listen Live
    Mobile phone

    Mobile Recharge Shops Sell Contact Numbers of Girls to Stalkers in India

    © Flickr/ Jason Howie
    Asia & Pacific
    Get short URL
    0 44

    Unsuspecting women using prepaid mobile recharge shops in an Indian state end up sharing their numbers to unscrupulous agents who later sell them to stalkers at a price depending on the looks of the girls.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — A new method of stalkers getting mobile numbers of their targets has come into light in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The modus operandi — Unsuspecting girls using prepaid mobile recharge shops share their numbers with ship-owners or their workers which later are up for sale on the basis of their looks and used by stalkers to harass them.

    The revelation has been reported by a leading national English daily, which claims that the state's round-the-clock police helpline number is flooded with complaints from women about unsolicited calls. The helpline has reportedly registered 1.6 million complaints in the last four years with 90% of them being related to harassment of women through unsolicited calls.

    The newspaper Hindustan Times claims that "the numbers are shared from recharge outlets where unscrupulous recharge agents save the numbers and then pass them on to those willing to pay. The number of someone considered ‘beautiful' can command as much as INR 500 ($8). The selling price for the number of an "ordinary looking girl" fetches INR 50 (less than a dollar).

    Becoming a mobile recharge agent is a relatively easy process in India with very little background scrutiny and utter lack of awareness on fair business practices. Although not all are involved in selling the numbers, but a large number of such shops indulge in them, according to the report. 

    What's ironical, virtually no one has been arrested in cases related to harassment via unsolicited calls despite laws to deal with such cases. The police just lets off unscrupulous recharge agents with stern warning. Their defense: our jails will overflow if those trading in mobile numbers have to be booked.

    The report has caused a massive outrage among women and civil society organizations who are advocating strong action and better measures to ensure privacy for women users.

    The crime amounts to a "breach of trust", says Akhilesh Bansal, a criminal lawyer from Delhi.

    "Selling the information provided on the assumption of trust is a criminal offense under the Indian laws. The punishment could go as high as seven years in jail," Bansal told Sputnik.

    Related:

    New Year May Dash Apple's Dream to Make IPhone in India
    India Approves $45Mln Plan to Add Teeth to Elite Forces for Surgical Strikes
    India Approves $3.2 billion Purchase Plan to Boost Night Warfare of Armed Forces
    Tags:
    mobile phones, India
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik