When Anamika (name changed) was introduced to Varun (name changed) by a mutual friend, she was interested in knowing him further. They exchanged numbers and started talking. Soon she realised the friendship was not working out and she decided to take a step back.
When she told Varun that she didn’t want to continue the friendship, Varun felt betrayed. Women had never refused his advances in the past, and he’d seldom respected a woman’s agency. So, Anamika’s ‘NO’ was a jolt for him.
To avenge Anamika’s absolute non-wish to continue the friendship, Varun turned into an obsessive stalker. His primary agenda became to bring Anamika back into his life. He would call her over 100 times in a day, send her friend requests on Facebook from multiple fake accounts, and incessantly email her, asking her to come back.
Anamika was distressed. She couldn’t fathom the fact that Varun couldn’t understand her 'NO’. When she had had enough, she took a friend’s help and reported the matter to Gurugram cyber police.
Luckily, the police was very helpful. They took cognisance of the case and took prompt action. They called up the stalker and threatened him with dire consequences if he didn’t stop stalking and harassing her.
Varun was scared for his life and reputation. He immediately wrote an apology letter to the Commissioner of Police, Gurugram, and Anamika and swore never to trouble her again.
But, What’s The Problem?
In Anamika’s case, as in many others, a girl is usually stalked when she asserts herself or refuses to be in a relationship. In our society, men are generally not accustomed to hearing ‘NO’ from women. When they do, it is an aberration for them and thus to work the situation in their favour, they start stalking the woman.
In our society, a ‘good girl’ is not expected to want a relationship. She goes to office, she goes to college, she comes home, cooks and keeps her things tidy. Her father tells her to marry a man and she does. So, a woman is never given the agency to do anything. As a result, when a woman says no, the man doesn’t get it because our culture and movies teach men to never expect women to have an opinion.Namita Bhandare, Senior Journalist
In the fourth episode of our #TalkingStalking ‘Chuppi Todo’ series, we discuss the concept of consent and why is it that men in our society don’t get the idea.
Make Stalking a Non-Bailable Offence
Do you know that stalking is a bailable offence under the Indian criminal law? This allows stalkers to get bail without serious scrutiny, often putting victims at risk of facing acid attacks, rapes, and sometimes even murder.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB):
- There has been a 33 percent yearly rise in stalking cases. As many as 4,699 cases were reported in 2014 and 6,266 cases were reported in 2015
- Around 26 percent of the cases ended in conviction in 2015
- Around 35 percent of the cases ended in conviction in 2014
- In 2015, 83 percent of the accused were given bail before the investigation ended
- In 2014, 85 percent of the accused were given bail before the investigation ended
- Around 60 percent of all accused were men aged between 18 and 30. Around 2 percent were juveniles between the ages of 16 and 18.
This is why The Quint has launched a petition along with Varnika Kundu and MP Shashi Tharoor to appeal that Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh make stalking a non-bailable offence. Sign our petition here.
If you are being stalked or know someone who is being stalked, do reach out to us. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop in a message at +91 9999008335. You can also call every Wednesday between 5pm-6pm to speak directly with Richa Anirudh.
Let’s break this silence together.
Camerapeople: Athar Rather, Abhishek Ranjan and Shiv Kumar Maurya
Editor: Rahul Sanpui
Producer: Garvita Khybri
Actors: Sameeksha Khare, Jaivardhan Singh Channey, Tejas Alhat