Co-presented by

Maharashtra's MLCs, MLAs haunted by lewd messages; helpline launched to tackle menace

A spate of vulgar text messages being sent to MLCs and MLAs in Maharashtra has alarmed the state's politicians and police officials. After an accused from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh was arrested on Sunday for sending lewd messages to BJP leader Shaina NC, Shiv Sena MLC and spokesperson Neelam Gorhe has also complained of receiving obscene messages. NCP MLC Vidya Chavan and Dharavi's Congress MLA Varsha Gaikwad have also complained about the menace of these messages.

 Maharashtras MLCs, MLAs haunted by lewd messages; helpline launched to tackle menace

Shaina NC. Image courtesy: Twitter/@ShainaNC

Gaikwad confirmed to Firstpost of having received lewd texts from an unknown number. "I received the message during the BMC elections. It's not good to see such women being harassed in a state like Maharashtra. And this is not the first incident; Neelam Gorhe and Shaina NC also received such messages. It's a serious law-and-order problem," Gaikwad said.

Neelam Gorhe said once the culprits are arrested, they should be tried under the most stringent of laws. "They should be tried under MCOCA, so nobody will dare do something like this again. The state's law-and-order situation is deteriorating by the day. Even the Thane municipal commissioner received threat calls. Police officers are receiving threat calls," she said.

Earlier, Deepak Kumar Gupta, a 40-year-old man from Jalgaon, was arrested for sending lewd texts to 12 politicians, including Gorhe and Gaikwad.

Meanwhile, MoS Ranjeet Patil has assured that the cyber cell will enquire into the issue of lewd messages. The state government has taken a serious note of this and we will arrest the culprits soon, he added.

Talking to Firstpost, Shaina NC was outraged at how people are still doing these things. "He sent me a message in December last year, but this crossed all limits in February. I registered an FIR to teach him a lesson. Furthermore, to educate and protect other women who have been targeted in this manner, I have also set up a helpline, which will offer legal help to women facing such a problem," she said.

So, on the eve of International Women's Day on 8 March, the helpline 'Stree Sanman' was launched to assist women in distress, and women who're victims of harassment on social media and through mobile phones. Shaina said the aim of the project is to ensure troubled women get justice and the rogue elements of society don't go scot-free.

"I complained to the cops, and I am thankful to the cyber police for acting promptly. I would like to appeal sincerely to all women and girls, to have the courage to come out and teach the stalkers a befitting lesson," she said. "The aim of the project is clear: Stalking is not acceptable in a civilised society, and perverts must be punished."

The toll-free number for the Stree Sanman helpline is 1800 2124434. Victims can leave their grievances on this number, and they will be provided with necessary police and legal assistance.

Your guide to the latest election news, analysis, commentary, live updates and schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates from all 543 constituencies for the upcoming general elections.

Updated Date: Mar 07, 2017 19:16:42 IST