Delhi Police arrested a man today for allegedly stalking BJP leader Nupur Sharma for more than a month.
The accused, 33-year-old Mihir Patel, was arrested in Vadodara for breach of peace. Patel was sending obscene and threatening messages via Twitter, Facebook, messages and email. In addition to this, he had violated the privacy of the BJP leader and accessed her family details.
Patel was misbehaving in the police station, issuing threats with dire consequences to Nupur. Following this incident, the Delhi Police Security Wing is carrying out a threat assessment of Sharma.
Nupur Sharma was the BJP candidate in the 2015 Delhi Assembly Polls. She came into the limelight after being elected as the President of Delhi University’s Students Union.
The accused was arrested by the Gujarat Police in Vadodara, but was released on bail as he was booked under bailable offence.
In a series of replies, Nupur tweeted,” Agree with you. Threats contd after he was taken into custody. Knows way too much about my family. Thanks to @DelhiPolice for arresting him.”
“Same fellow @twitter thought wasn’t violating any rules! Yes I have to be – he’d forged IDs to procure multiple SIMs & threatened my sister,” Nupur tweeted.
This incident once again takes us back to the fervour that followed the Nirbhaya rape case in 2016. Justice JS Verma committee suggested changes to multiple laws pertaining to crimes against women. It advised for a stricter punishment against offences like stalking. And yet again, a man was out on bail for stalking a political leader only to be arrested again.
The capital city unfortunately continues to top the chart of being the most unsafe city for women with more than a dozen of women calling the Delhi Police everyday with complaints of harassment, invasion of privacy and stalking. According to Hindustan Times through 2014, there were 4,700 complaints of stalking, 674 relating to voyeurism and 6,400 assaults to strip women.
The first high profile case of stalking ended up with the murder of Priyadarshini Mattoo in 1996. However it took 17 years from then and a horrific gang rape to criminalise stalking. And like most of us, Nupur Sharma too fears that he may come out on bail again, only stronger and more defiant this time.