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Punjab Police notice to facebook on upgrading content management

The facebook page of the orphan girl student, who committed suicide due to "obnoxious" comments posted by her college seniors, was "inaccessible" to the public since morning. Jasdeep Singh Malhotra reports.

india Updated: Aug 16, 2012 20:00 IST
Jasdeep Singh Malhotra
Jasdeep Singh Malhotra
Hindustan Times

The facebook page of the orphan girl student, who committed suicide due to "obnoxious" comments posted by her college seniors, was "inaccessible" to the public since morning.

The Punjab police have served advisory on the facebook for upgrading its content management policy following the student's suicide.

Raksha Sharma (20), a first year student of computer science and engineering at Mehar Chand Polytechnic College in Jalandhar, committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan in her hostel room on Tuesday night.

She, in her suicide note, alleged that two college seniors - Lovepreet Singh (20) and Deepak Saini (20), used to harass her and posted obnoxious comments on her facebook wall to eventually defame her publicly.

The accused had completed a 3-year diploma in electrical engineering.

Speaking to Hindustan Times in Jalandhar, Gaurav Yadav, police commissioner, revealed that the city police have issued an advisory to the social networking site - facebook - for upgrading its content management policy.

"We are informing all the details of this suicide case, a first of its kind in this region, to the facebook authorities. Though we are not interested in policing the web, but surely the facebook requires strengthening its policy to check impact of 'such' contents on the society," Yadav said, adding that there must be a process to filter objectionable material to avoid such incidents in future.

"We will timely and scientifically complete investigations in this case and produce the challan at the earliest," Yadav added.

The police said that Raksha was having an affair with Lovepreet Singh, which lasted for nearly five months before the couple decided for a break-off.

"Both of them were earlier using facebook to interact with each other. Lovepreet supported his girlfriend financially on three occasions by paying her a total sum of Rs. 20000. After the break off, he started pressurising the victim to pay back his money. He even contacted her shelter home in Jammu to make the same demand," the police said, adding that Lovepreet started sending her abusive and lewd messages on facebook and mobile phone to eventually force her commit suicide.

"Though Saini said to be treating her like a sister ever since she came into his contact through Lovepreet, but he too started sending her "such" messages after the break off. Lovepreet led a campaign on the campus to defame her," the police said.

Earlier, the police produced both the accused in a local court, which remanded them into judicial custody for 14 days since police did not seek their police remand for custodial interrogation.

The police have seized a laptop and mobile phone of Lovepreet from his residence while Saini's mobile phone was also recovered.

"We are examining the call details records of the victim and the accused. Besides, we are downloading the SMSs and wall posts from facebook account of the victim and the accused to ascertain the truth," Balkar Singh, assistant commissioner of police, said.

The family members of the victim cremated her at their native place in Doda district in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday afternoon.

Raksha has four sisters and two brothers. She along with her two sisters were living at Jammu branch of SOS Children Villages of India since 1997, when her parents were gunned down by the terrorists.

Pertinently, Lovepreet, son of a lab attendant of Dr BR Ambedkar National Institute of Technology (NIT), had allegedly manhandled a girl student during a function on the NIT campus six months back.

Subsequently, it boomeranged into full-fledged clash between two groups. The NIT authorities later ordered his father to leave the campus accommodation.

Lovepreet, however, said that the victim was forcing him to marry her.

"She was in a love affair with me. But I was not ready for the same since she was also involved with some other guys. She also attempted to commit suicide at Jammu shelter home by consuming phenol," he alleged.

The suicide note
In her suicide note, the victim alleged that Lovepreet was responsible for forcing her to take extreme step.

"He posted obnoxious comments on my facebook wall and had been issuing threats for the past one week. He was also hurling abuses on me. He used to harass me a lot while he also circulated my mobile phone number amongst several boys. He called up my shelter home and lied to the authorities that I borrowed Rs. 20000 from him.

Deepak Saini too is involved. They made it difficult for me to enter college now. I am sorry. Please Inne Saja de dena (please do punish them)," she wrote.

First Published: Aug 16, 2012 19:58 IST