A 22-year-old man was arrested from Punjab for allegedly sexually harassing minor girls on Instagram, police said on Sunday. The accused threatened the minors that he will share their morphed nude photos on social media if his demands of "sexual favours" are not met, they said.
He has been identified as Jatin, police said, adding he was nabbed from his native place Kapurthala in Punjab. Police said the accused was working as a waiter in the UAE for past three years.
The matter came to light in February after a minor girl complained that she was being blackmailed by an unidentified Instagram user who had nine different Instagram IDs, they said. The accused created morphed nude photographs of the victim and sent them to her on her Instagram account, police said.
According to the complainant, the man started demanding her nudes by threatening her that he will share these morphed nude pictures in her school group. She became scared and sent her nudes to him with the promise that he will put an end to his nonsense. But after getting her photographs, the accused started demanding sex from her and asked her to meet him in a hotel at Paharganj. The girl refused and narrated the incident to her parents and teachers, police said.
Thereafter, the victim’s father approached Cyber West police station and a case was registered, they said. Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Ghanshyam Bansal said during the course of investigation, a police team established communication with Meta Platforms Inc and obtained the details of suspect's Instagram IDs used by him for blackmailing the minor girls.
After obtaining the details from Instagram, it was learnt that the accused has registered all the Instagram ID’s by using a UAE mobile number. Thereafter, with the help of technical surveillance, his identity was revealed as Jatin and he was arrested from Kapurthala, Punjab, the police officer said.
"During interrogation, the accused confessed to his crime and disclosed that he was working as a waiter in the UAE for last three years. While in the UAE, he indulged in blackmailing minor girls based in India with a promise to meet them when he will return to India,” Bansal said.
“He (accused) belongs to a middle-class family and had dreams to live a lavish life but due to the shortage of money, he could not get his dreams fulfilled. So, he started targeting minor girls for fulfilling his ill desires," he said. Three mobile phones containing data of blackmailing and extortion were seized from him, police said.