A shady trade which involves rape victims in India has been uncovered.
According to reports, videos of rape victims have gone on sale in the Uttar Pradesh area of India, and people can purchase them at a very affordable price of about Rs 20 to Rs 200 (30 cents to $3) which is about (N144 - N1,440).
The videos are sent to the customer's phone minutes after the person pays to purchase it. The shopkeepers are reportedly very cautious about selling them to foreigners and non indigenes of Uttar Pradesh.
According to Al Jazeera, the victims faces are usually visible and their voices are clear while they are being brutally assaulted by their attackers.
Al Jazeera managed to get one of the locals from a neighbouring village to buy it and show it to them. The man who identified himself using a fake name Shahnawaz, said even though the videos are in circulation, they were not made with the intention of being sold in the open market.
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“They make it to blackmail the victims [of rape] … so that they don’t go and file a complaint in the nearest police station, sometimes the videos are stolen from the perpetrator’s phone when he takes his device to a shop for repairs. The stolen footage is them sold to anyone who asks for it.”
According to reports, most of the shopkeepers have some secret words you can say to make them know you are interested in buying the said videos. The shopkeepers also update their customers on the availability of the said videos, when they have ' the latest'.
When the District Inspector General of Police for Saharanpur Range, A K Shahi, was contacted, he denied any knowledge of the videos. He reportedly asked: “Rape video … ye kya hota hai (Rape video, what is this)?” but promised to look into the matter, when they explained the case of the videos to him.
The Inspector General of Police for Meerut Range, Ajay Anand, told Al Jazeera that he was too new to the job to know anything about the videos. He said:
“I have been posted here recently. Hence I don’t have any idea of these rape videos being sold in the market. I am not in a position to comment. I don’t know the authenticity of these rape videos. I need to see them first before making any comment.”
Reporters from Al Jazeera who tried to buy the videos, said they were able to do that with ease, from various locations.
Sanjeev Balyan, a member of parliament for Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, said he believes the government’s insensitivity towards women was a major factor in the increase of sexual violence in the country.
“In my constituency, I have heard about such videos being sold but police have taken no concrete action to stop this social malice. This proves how insensitive this government is towards the safety of women and their dignity.”
In states like Uttar Pradesh, there is no supremacy of rule and order. Police act at the orders of politicians; even local politicians have an influence on police forces.”
Na wa oo!