A 19-year-old BTech student from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, has been arrested by the Delhi Police for allegedly stalking, sending lewd messages, and harassing students and teachers of a school in North Delhi’s Civil Lines. The student alleged used forged numbers to harass girls. He, police claimed, used online applications to sneak into WhatsApp groups of students and circulated their morphed nude pictures on social media.
The police have identified the arrested man as Mahavir Kumar, a 19-year-old resident of Patna, Bihar. He has been booked under IPC section 345D for stalking, sections of POCSO Act and IT Act, police said.
The alleged act came to the notice of school management when a USA-registered mobile number flashed in the WhatsApp group of class 11 students. It raised suspicion over an outsider having sneaked into the closed group without authorization from the group admin.
Once removed, the number was spotted again in the other WhatsApp groups of class 12 students. Further enquiry by the school revealed that as many as 50 girl students and a few teachers of the school had received threats and lewd messages from the same number.
The school management then raised the matter with the local police and a First Information Report (FIR) was lodged at Civil Lines police station on August 8.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (north) Sagar Singh Kalsi said the complaint alleged that the man is stalking girl students online, sending them lewd WhatsApp messages, calling teachers of the school from various international numbers, entering online classes of school and is joining WhatsApp groups without the approval of the admin and is circulating several morphed nude and semi-nude pictures of students on social media.
“During initial investigation questioning of the teachers, students and their parents helped us identify 33 WhatsApp virtual numbers, five Instagram profiles and various calls made using fake caller ID apps. Details related to the user of these social media IDs were sought from Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Following the shared details of the IP logs of these IDs used for creating fake social media accounts, we finally identified the user as one Mahavir Kumar. His location was traced to Patna in Bihar,” the DCP said.
Kalsi said following technical surveillance our teams raided the identified address and arrested Kumar late on Wednesday night.
During questioning the arrested man told police that he had used online applications to use virtual numbers on Whatsapp for contacting girls and teachers of the school.
“He confessed to having used voice changing apps to contact victims to hide his identity. He even used the app for creating morphed nude photos of the students and uploaded them on fake Instagram profiles created in their names. Several obscene videos and photographs have also been recovered from his mobile phone,” the officer said.
Police said that there was no involvement of any monetary fraud or any physical sexual assault in the entire case.
The arrested student’s father runs a torch manufacturing unit and his mother is a housewife. He is currently pursuing B.Tech from IIT Kharagpur, police said.