Shame the rapist campaign: Activist Sunitha Krishnan gets 90 videos from rape survivors

In February 2915  activist Sunitha Krishnan launched a campaign to bring sexual offenders of a vicious kind to book. An acquaintance alerted her about a video doing the rounds of WhatsApp, one which showed six men taking turns to rape a woman and filming it too. Krishnan immediately launched the Shame the Rapist campaign, where she blurred the face of the victim and shared the video on Twitter ans Facebook urging people to help identify the perpetrators.

She later took the video down and instead circulated screengrabs with faces of the rapists. In March this year, CBI arrested a man from Bhubaneshwar, who was allegedly one of the rapists in the video. When no arrests were made even after she released the video, she had move Supreme Court.

 Shame the rapist campaign: Activist Sunitha Krishnan gets 90 videos from rape survivors

Sunitha Krishnan. Twitter.

Now Daily Mail has reported that Krishnan has been flooded with at least 90 more videos of rape, mostly submitted by rape survivors who had till now remained silent in fear of harassment and social stigma. In all these videos the assailants have shot the victim getting raped. Daily Mail reports:

"Justice Madan B. Lokur, who is heading a special bench in the court hearing social justice matters, has expressed shock.  “Is it possible to have a mechanism in place to deal with a situation like this? What is the cyber cell of the police in each state doing?” he asked Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Maninder Singh who represented the Centre."

The report quotes Krishnan's lawyer Aparna Bhat as saying, "I saw three seconds of one of the videos and I could not sleep for a week. In many videos, the girls are taken to a particular spot and what happens thereafter is secretly filmed and the videos are sold in the market.”

The Supreme Court judges have ordered a CBI probe into the new videos, which Krishnan submitted.

We had noted earlier on Firstpost that while Krishnan's intent was noble, uploading the video of the assault can unwittingly serve voyeuristic purposes, distressing the victims even more.

Firstpost had commented, "However, what made the video, the unedited version, travel through several WhatsApp users and then land in Krishnan's phone? Was it concern for the victim? Obviously not. In that case, it would have been reported long before Krishnan made efforts to trace the culprits. The bitter truth is that between titillation and responsibility, India chooses the former with alarming frequency. That's exactly why the video, in which it is evident that a woman is being forced into a sexual act, circulated several hundred times till it reached someone who brought it up with Krishnan."

Following that initial blooper, Krishnan seemed to have followed up the case with grit and determination, helping the CBI nab one of the culprits. However, the new revelation is shocking, indicating how modern technology is being used to perpetrate oppressive, patriarchal practices.

As the additional solicitor general representing the Centre noted, the court must fast track the case of the one person who has been nabbed. Else, he said, "it will be an unending process as there are millions and millions of such videos on various sites”.

Updated Date: Apr 13, 2015 18:06:12 IST