Swati Maliwal, the chief of the Delhi Commission for Women, posted a shocking video of an elderly man sexually assaulting a toddler on Twitter on Tuesday, drawing disgust on social media. Accompanying the clip was an appeal for the accused to be arrested at the earliest.
"Chilled to the bone on watching this. @DelhiPolice pl imm file FIR & arrest this pervert. He is of the age of her grandfather! The child is so small. Shudder to think what would happen if ppl didn't intervene. Also appeal to all to help Police identify him. He should be arrested!" the caption accompanying the video read.
The tweet was later deleted.
While some of those commenting on the video demanded exemplary punishment for the rapist, others berated Ms Maliwal for sharing a video of a sexual assault (even with the victim's face blurred). Senior journalist Dhanya Rajendran pointed out that the incident occurred over three months ago in Hyderabad.
"This is a video from Hyderabad from March. This man was caught. And I am shocked that the Chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women is publishing a rape video on social media," Dhanya Rajendran, a founding member of The NewsMinute website, said in her reply to Ms Maliwal's tweet. "And please stop sharing child sexual abuse videos online, even if you're trying to report a crime."
Another social media user said that her account was suspended for sharing the video, and suggested that the women's panel head delete the video before similar action is taken against her.
Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, several Internet giants -- including Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter -- had agreed to come up with a code of ethics to resolve issues involving the social media, including the spread of fake news. The immediate concern was the death of several people at the hands of rampaging mobs who believed them to be child kidnappers.
The Delhi Police, which comes under the central government, is often pulled up by the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) over the law-and-order situation in the national capital. Last month, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had lamented the "dangerous spurt" in serious crimes across the city after an elderly couple and their maid were found murdered at their home in Vasant Vihar.
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