#‎ShameTheRapistCampaign – Help Sunitha Krishnan Trace These Men

Activist Sunitha Krishnan has initiated #‎ShameTheRapistCampaign after receiving two gang rape videos on WhatsApp. Make it a national campaign so that culprits are caught.

#‎ShameTheRapistsCampaign

India is a funny country – we recently created a big ruckus over the AIB Knockout deeming it not fit for the Indian society as it is against our culture and values but there isn’t enough buzz on separate videos of gang rape being circulated on WhatsApp.

Reported by NDTV, these videos, believed to be six months old have been filmed by six rapists who are seen smiling for a cellphone camera during the horrific assaults. These videos were discovered by Sunitha Krishnan, a women’s rights activist and co-founder of NGO Prajwala in Hyderabad.

With the help of her film-maker husband, Krishnan took the videos and completely blurred out the victim’s face and body, highlighting the man’s face in it. Since then she has been circulating the video with the man’s face clearly visible, asking people to help nab the rapist with #ShameTheRapistCampaign. “Ten seconds into the video, I was overcome. I had to stop as I needed to throw up,” she told NDTV. She said an acquaintance alerted her to the videos after receiving them on WhatsApp.

Krishnan, who works against sex-trafficking and prostitution through her NGO, logged on Facebook to launch her campaign #ShameTheRapistCampaign. On 5th February she posted both the YouTube videos on her Facebook profile urging the people to spread the word and nab the rapists. “These rapist have posted the videos of them raping/sexually assaulting women on ‘whatsapp’(I have checked they are not enacted videos). I have taken the liberty of protecting the identity of the victim, ” said her Facebook post.

The strong message spread on Facebook and Twitter, meanwhile the campaign got covered on publications like The Hindu, Firstpost and NDTV helping the message go far.

However, there have been no arrests so far. Sunitha, who is spearheading the campaign, is facing the heat. The activist tweeted that her car was stoned after she announced the #‎ShameTheRapistCampaign on NDTV.

Although, the police is yet to find a link between the videos uploaded and the vandalizing of her car, the time of the incident raises suspicion that the culprits in at least one of the videos belong to Hyderabad. “The car was parked outside the Prajwala office behind Charminar bus station and someone threw stones or used an instrument to break the rear windshield. We looked around for any CCTV cameras in nearby shops and establishments but unfortunately there was only one, which was out of order. We are working on other leads,” Detective Inspector of Hussaini Alam Police Station K Kiran Kumar said to IE.

To support Sunitha’s campaign, The National Commission of Women have sought the urgent intervention of the Hyderabad police. “We have been saying that there should be a mechanism in place where such incidents of cyber-crime can be curbed. The circulation needs to be stopped and the men should be brought to shame,” said the panel’s Shamina Shafiq.

City Police Commissioner M. Mahender Reddy has informed that special police teams were verifying the clips of eight minutes and four minutes long and taking help of community policing units to trace the culprits. Krishnan also hopes to meet Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister for Women and Child Welfare, as well as top officials in the Union Home Ministry to seek their intervention in locating and punishing the rapists.

Support for #‎ShameTheRapistCampaign is coming from various part of the country, some may debate on her action of airing the rape visual footage but one can’t doubt her motive. To make it a national protest, we can spread the word in the form of sharing on social media or blogging about the incident.

If we can bring down comedy videos on the grounds that they are not fit for the society, circulation of rape videos with rapists having a laugh over victims isn’t accepted in any civil society. “We have to ‘stand up now to end this’, these rapists have to be traced… shamed and punished. No matter which hole on mother earth they are enjoying right now,” Krishnan said.

Can we make #‎ShameTheRapistsCampaign a national campaign and trend it on social media?