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Revenge porn: First conviction in Bengal, man gets 5 years in jail

Animesh Bakshi, 23, was convicted for uploading nude videos of a woman on pornographic websites after she ended their relationship.

kolkata Updated: Mar 07, 2018 19:14 IST
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times
revenge porn,Kolkata revenge porn,Kolkata news
File photo of an employee of a Santa Cruise ‘digital laundry’ company monitoring a computer screen to find ‘revenge porn’ at the company in Seoul. The company is tasked with taking down videos posted without consent — including so-called “revenge porn”.(AFP)

Justice came to a 20-year-old victim of revenge porn on the eve of International Women’s Day with a court in Bengal’s East Midnapore district sentencing a man to five years in jail.

Animesh Bakshi, 23, was convicted on Wednesday for uploading nude videos of a woman on pornographic websites after she broke off her relation with him, the state CID’s lawyer said. Bakshi was also asked to pay a fine of Rs 9,000.

This is Bengal CID’s first conviction in cases related to cyber crime, including ‘revenge porn’, a term used to describe sharing of sexually explicit images on the internet with the aim of extorting or humiliating the victims, most of them women.

“I would use this occasion to salute the victim. It needed a lot of courage to withstand two days of vigorous cross-examination in the court that she faced. I devoted most of my time over the past six months for this one case, because she deserved justice in time,” said Bivas Chatterjee, special public prosecutor for CID.

“What she suffered is virtual rape and she continues to suffer this. Several of the video clips are still live on porn sites,” he added.

The 20-year-old woman and her father —who lodged a police complaint seven months ago — did not attend the court proceedings on Wednesday.

They apprehended an attack on the family from people close to the convicted youth, said an officer of CID who did not want to be named.

According to police, Bakshi took advantage of his intimacy with the victim, who had in her mobile phone some nude videos she herself had shot. Bakshi accessed those videos and started blackmailing her.

Following this, the girl decided to end her relationship with Bakshi. This angered him and he uploaded those video clips to various porn sites.

To ensure the video clips got noticed, he added the names of the girl and her father, and also mentioned her father’s nickname.

The videos were uploaded in May 2017. In July, the girl’s elder brother saw the video clips in circulation and brought it to the girl’s notice.

“The girl was devastated and decided to end her life. However, later she gathered courage and reached Panskura police station with her father to lodge a complaint,” said a CID officer, who is not authorised to speak to the media.

The case was handed over to the CID, which arrested the accused on July 21.

The charge-sheet was submitted with 42 days. The trial started in September and the arguments were completed by February 28.

In court, 200 document exhibits and 79 material exhibits were presented and a 118-page written argument was placed that referred to more than 300 judgments from the Supreme Court as well as courts abroad.

First Published: Mar 07, 2018 19:14 IST