Madhavi Rajadhyaksha, TNN | May 22, 2013,
Iyer has made an online complaint to the cyber cell of the Mumbai police and has received a complaint number. Till Tuesday evening, the police had not acknowledged receiving the complaint, so TOI is withholding the name under which the post was made.
Sodomizing a minor, sexually harassing him, or engaging in “indecent or obscene representations of a child” on any media forum are offences under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.
The post was removed by the website after many users reported it as offensive. However, before it was removed, it received nine “likes” and comments from people asking for the 15-year-old to be offered to them. The comments included graphic details and the original poster replied to one of the comments that he had recently moved to Mumbai.
Iyer is a known face against child sexual abuse. He shared his painful experience of surviving abuse on the TV show ‘Satyamev Jayate‘. He has taken a screenshot of the offensive online conversation. He subsequently sent an online complaint over the police website on Tuesday.
“Given the widespread prejudice against people who belong to sexualities other than heterosexuals, I would also like to add that as a 34-year-old homosexual man who is a survivor of child sexual abuse, I can state that the Indian LGBTIQ community strongly condemns sexual abuse; particularly child sexual abuse,” states Iyer’s complaint. He requests the police to “take appropriate action against the above-mentioned post and everyone who has commented on the same”, including those who were “soliciting sex with a 15-year-old”. Iyer said this could be a chance to nab a group that routinely solicits sex with minors.
Child rights activists said children are increasingly being exposed to threats in cyberspace. Pooja Taparia, of NGO Arpan, said, “I think there’s a lot happening online. Children are vulnerable and easy prey.” She said, “We advise parents to refrain from putting up portrait photos of children as there is no protection against people using them.”
Cyber cell officials said they had yet to receive Iyer’s complaint. When TOI forwarded a copy to them, the official in charge, Mukund Pawar, said he would look into the matter.