Recharge outlets in UP selling girls’ mobile numbers, prices based on ‘looks’: Report
In an alarming revelation, it has been learnt that mobile numbers of unsuspecting girls are being sold from recharge outlets across Uttar Pradesh for prices based on their looks and are being used by miscreants to harass them over the phone.
According to a Hindustan Times report, the matter came to light when the 24X7 police helpline, 1090, set up Akhilesh Yadav-government received several complaints from women about unwanted calls.
Out of 6 lakh odd complaints registered with the helpline in the past four years, 90 per cent were related to harassment of women over the phone.
The report claimed that majority of the men who harass women on phone get their mobile numbers from the outlets where they go to recharge their mobile phones.
The deceitful recharge outlet owners save the numbers and then pass them on to those willing to pay. The prices for these numbers are based on the looks – number of a “beautiful girl” can command as much as Rs 500, whereas that of an “ordinary looking girl” fetches Rs 50.
24-year-old Mohammed from Shahjahanpur was cited by Hindustan Times admitting that his favourite recharge outlet was the one run by a father-son duo.
He revealed that he and his friends go the shop when the father is away and then they use numbers to strike friendships. “Sometimes we send vulgar pictures over WhatsApp,” he admitted.
The government’s data reveals that of the total 6,61,129 complaints registered with the police helpline 1090 from 15 November 2012 to 21 December 2016, as many as 5,82,854 complaints were related to harassment over phone.
“Not us, but it happens. It is mostly the new guys in the business who do it. They mostly sell or circulate the numbers among their acquaintances,” Manu Bhaiyya, a PCO-cum-recharge outlet owner in Allahabad, was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying.
Ironically, buying or selling women’s numbers has not landed anyone in jail so far in UP. “Koi crime nahin banega,” (No crime will be made out)” said IG Navneit Sekera.
The police, instead, go after those rechargers 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,” he said.