Jhamunda: How Insta moral police brigade are secretly filming Hyderabad's girls, couples

An Instagram page `jhamunda_official’ was posting abusive content against women, from one particular community and moral policing couples.

By Nimisha S Pradeep  Published on  12 Oct 2022 10:30 AM GMT
Jhamunda: How Insta moral police brigade are secretly filming Hyderabads girls, couples

Hyderabad: Imagine you are going for an outing with one of your friends and someone follows you secretly. They shoot all that you do and post it on Instagram. Scary, right?

This is what happened to some of the men and women in Hyderabad who were shot at different public places ranging from motor vehicles to malls by unknown people. And only when these photos and videos surfaced on social media, these people realized that they were being followed and filmed by somebody.

An Instagram page `jhamunda_official' was posting abusive content against women, from one particular community and moral policing couples. They slut shamed women through their posts. Their posts are aimed to spread hatred among communities. All these posts are accompanied by abusive comments.

Many of these posts have audio in the background like 'Musalmano ka naam barbad kiya,' 'acting against Quran', etc. For example, in one of the videos, a man and a woman (apparently a Muslim woman) are going on a two-wheeler. The camera keeps following them. The page publicly abuses the two of them saying a Muslim woman is dating a non-Muslim guy.

In another video, two girls changing their burqas in a parking area are secretly shot. "Next Galleria Mall aaye hein ye log, college bunk karke, parking mei burqa remove karai (They have bunked college and come to the parking area near Galleria Mall to remove their burqa), " read the text on the video. The video further requests viewers, who know their parents to inform the same to them.

In another video, a boy and girl are found to be smoking together and the page administrator has added the text "maa baap ki tarbiyat matter karti (requires the attention of parents)."

In another video, a couple has been filmed and the text in the video goes- "Dating before Nikah is haram (Dating before marriage is a sin)".

In another post using a video shared by three Muslim women, the administrator of this page is asking "Why are these girls tarnishing the image of Islam?"

In some of the posts, the page administrator has also directed that these videos should reach the parents of these men and women.

How this page functions

Besides jhamunda_official._, there are some other unofficial pages with similar names like Jhamunda 2, Jhamunda, and Jhamunda Army which share similar abusive content on Instagram. According to sources, when some posts are deleted from the jhamunda_official._ page after complaints, the same posts reappear on the other unofficial pages. Presently there are no posts on the Jhamunda official group. The latest status put out by the jhamunda_official._page on 10 October said the Instagram id is for sale. But similar content continues to come up on the status of the Jhamunda 2 page.

The jhamunda_official page._ has 12.3k followers. Jhamunda 2, Jhamunda, and Jhamunda Army have 101 followers, 1,284 followers, and 677 followers respectively.

How do they get the content?

This Instagram profile jhamunda_official._ requests its followers to secretly film women and couples and send them to this page. The followers of this page are the source of its content. One of the posts on the page says that there are around 900 people behind this monitoring at public places. "Already 900 boys are monitoring public areas where our Muslim sisters are dating non-Muslim guys. Now I am giving authority to every citizen of Hyderabad, wherever you find this kind of people dating, and our Muslim sisters dating non-Muslims, please open your camera, record, and send it to me. I will handle the matter through my Insta Page. Requesting my Muslim brothers- please keep monitoring your sisters and daughters. I don't want our Muslim girls to become victims of "Bhagwa Lover Trap (sic)," read the post.

A boy in the city spoke to NewsMeter about how he was targeted by the Jhamunda 2 page. His photo was shared and he was called a rapist by the Jhamunda team. The page administrator alleged that the boy raped his sister and he has been kicked out of his house. Further, they request their followers to find out more details about the boy. He was also attacked previously by an Instagram page 'Kingdom of Malakpet', which has been deleted.

"These pages are trying to ruin the peaceful atmosphere of the city. Some minor girls are severely getting impacted. These pages are trying to create fear among the youth by tarnishing their image on social media. Many girls have been a victim of these pages and they are suffering from depression. These girls are badly harassed by these pages, insulted, and embarrassed. Mostly these are college-going girls who do not wish to come forward and complain. They are scared," said one of the city residents, who wished to be anonymous.

Some of the people in the city took to Twitter to report the activities of the page. They tagged Hyderabad Police in their tweets. Some of these Twitter users also filed a complaint at the police station. Hyderabad police have registered three cases and are on the lookout for the people running this page.

"Three cases have been registered against the administrator of the Jhamunda Official page under Section 509,506, 354(d) of IPC, and under some other sections," said KV Prasad, ACP CCS Cyber Crime.

He added that though they have raised complaints against the page, they have not received any replies from Instagram management yet. According to reports, the Hyderabad police have formed a separate team to investigate and nab the people behind this page.

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