Harassment

I’ve been receiving a lot of blank calls on my mobile in the past month. They started as just that – blank calls on which no one would speak. They moved on to heavy breathing. And last week, I unsuspectingly gave out my name, not recognising the number. As you can imagine, they have gotten worse.

The number is +91 9440764653. There are a bunch of guys who call from this number, sometimes individually, sometimes in a bunch, passing the phone from person to person. The police say, “Why do you want to get into this mess, madam? It is difficult to trace the call (after giving them the number!), and in any case, we cannot prove they are harassing…”

So I decided to turn to my blog for help. I know most of the people who read this know me, so I don’t need to prove to you that this harassment did in fact take place, before I ask you to help. And this is what I want you to do for me: Please call that number. Call sometime before the end of this month. Check that you’ve got the right number. Don’t identify yourself. Don’t pick a fight. Don’t call them names or abuse them. Just tell them you have a message for them (or that you have some information for them). Then tell them that sexual harassment is a crime under the Indian Penal Code, and that blank calls are sexual harassment. If you like, read out Section 509 of the Penal Code:

Whoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen, by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.

Then, hang up.

I could have tried to reason with my harassers, but talking to them pisses me off. I could get someone to pretend they were a police officer and call that number and warn these guys off, but that would only stop them calling me. (Also, impersonating a police officer is a crime too!) I want them to know what it feels like to wonder who’s calling every time an unidentified number pops up on the phone. I want them to stop doing this forever, because they realise they can be harassed too. And I want a swift and effective solution. This might just be it.

Remember, the number is +91 9440764653. To be on the safe side, please use a public phone. Don’t identify yourself or me. Don’t say anything except to deliver the message – that harassment by telephone is a punishable offence.

And, thank you.

Update: BikerBoy, genius-ly tech-savvy as he is, added his own innovation to this, spamming this number with sms-es containing the text of S. 509 from a free sms site. Thanks, da!

Also, since many of you have been asking me what’s happened since this post, could those of you who called, leave comments here telling us all what happened?

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19 Responses

  1. i don’t know you, but i think that is one rocking idea and im going to do it. for me, for you and for all of us.
    in case you’re curious, i got here through baudolino’s blog.

  2. Thanks, Divya!

  3. I’ll pitch in too!!

  4. Thank you!

  5. a. Will do my bit
    b. Blogrolled, by gum 😀

  6. P.S. New post. Read it, please?

  7. Thank you for the bear hug. 🙂 It is well received, I hear.

    I worry about the potential can of worms now…

  8. The bunch of weirdos are having a hard time already. Jai krishna.

  9. […] “I’ve been receiving a lot of blank calls on my mobile in the past month. They started as just that – blank calls on which no one would speak. They moved on to heavy breathing. And last week, I unsuspectingly gave out my name, not recognising the number. As you can imagine, they have gotten worse. […]

  10. I am gonna harass them back. and see this:
    http://amitken.wordpress.com/2006/10/10/76/

    cheers!

  11. Thank you, Khush, AmitKen!

  12. did my bit
    🙂

  13. Thanks, Annie!

  14. wil do it gladly

  15. please write a formal letter about you situation, send it to the police department (ideally, the SP or some other high official) and to the telecom department.

    there is no need to get frustrated with the local policemen – they are poorly educated and think these are too small matters for the police.

    Just send it to the bosses.

  16. Mob Justice for blank callers?

    Erimentha gets blank calls from the same number repeatedly and sets out to stop them. Slightly older post, but interesting nevertheless.

  17. […] When Shivam called my post ”mob justice”, I didn’t like it. And then Anantha used that same label at PutVote.com, I began to get defensive. I didn’t know why, though, so I decided to check. […]

  18. […] was the time I wrote this post, asking for help, receiving it, and stopping a spate of ‘prank’ calls: does that count […]

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