Hyderabad: During the lockdown, a male friend known to a woman professes his love to her. But the woman says no. "After that, the person creates a fake profile on Instagram and uploads photos of them together saying that they are in a relationship. He then blackmails and harasses her," said C. Anasuya, Deputy Commissioner of Police(DCP), and incharge SHE team Cyberabad Commissionerate.

The woman complained to the police about the blackmail and harassment. "The woman knew the person so in some cases she just wants him to be warned by the police. In some cases, complaints are filed," said DCP.

This is one of the many sample cases of harassment women in Telangana have faced during the lockdown. According to the Telangana police, the 100 number received around 7,679 calls during the second phase of the state lockdown between 12 May and 24 May from women facing harassment in various forms.

Around 4,395 calls in the state were about domestic violence. Alcohol abuse, financial issues within homes, issues between in-laws and married women, conflicts within relationships were some of the reasons behind the domestic violence in the state.

In Cyberabad, the DCP said that as soon as they receive a call or message about domestic violence, one of their officers visits the woman. "The circumstances change per call. Sometimes it's the husband beating wife after consuming alcohol or sometimes it is just the fight between them," said DCP.

In most cases, women don't turn up to file formal complaints. The DCP said that under the Cyberabad Commissionerate most women want police to warn their husbands and only around 10 percent of them file a complaint.

During the lockdown, police are helping women through online counseling with the Bharosa centres. "Many of the women don't have any vehicle to travel and come forward and file a formal complaint with us. Women who want to go to their parents' house we help them with that," said DCP.

During the lockdown, the police also received 2,752 calls regarding assault on women in the state. Around 98 cases of cybercrime and blackmailing incidents were also reported.

The police also received 44 calls regarding an attempt to rape and two cases of rape in the state during the lockdown. Apart from the above cases, 75 cases of child marriage and 37 cases of dowry harassment were also received by the police in Telangana.

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. Sumit has also worked with video production houses in Mumbai as an assistant director in shows like 21 Sarfrosh for Discovery Jeet. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also the contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, human interest and data stories.

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