Several social media users were left astounded and seething over the circulation of two gang-rape videos (now deleted) on messaging service application WhatsApp in Hyderabad. The men in the videos, were seen shamelessly posing for the camera with a smile while committing the crime.
The two videos are said to be at least six-months old but surfaced on the message service app recently and were being circulated widely. In both the videos, the rapists are seen shamelessly smiling while sexually assaulting the victims.
Akshaya M Rajee, who was shocked after seeing the videos, tweeted "Gang rape video shared on Whatsapp?? What has our country come to. Cannot believe this is happening".
"If sm1 finds him, break a few bones b4 informing cop," Abhinav tweeted.
Another Twitter user Alia said, "These people should be hanged," to which Tanushree Upreti, responded saying, "Exactly..hanged to death The Gang-rape video was shared on WhatsApp. they need to be caught".
In one of the two videos, a man wearing a red T-shirt strips the victim, while another man, filming the video, can be heard laughing in the background. Despite the girl's repeated pleas to let her go, the men continued to sexually exploit her.
The girl begged the men for mercy and said, "I will have no other option but to commit suicide after this, please leave me." "That will be good", replied one of the two accused seen in the video.
In the second video, five men take turns to rape the girl, while she cries and begs to be spared. The men seemed to enjoy being filmed while raping the girl.
The two videos, which were being circulated on WhatsApp, were uploaded on YouTube by Sunitha Krishnan, a social activist and founder of Hyderabad-based anti-trafficking NGO Prajwala. However, both the videos were pulled off on Friday afternoon.
Krishnan was informed about the video by a young man, who also received it on WhatsApp. "SHAME THE RAPIST CAMPAIGN came as a response, when a concerned young man received these videos on his "whatsup" and immediately informed me," she wrote on her Facebook page.
"After a few checks, I found that the videos were not enacted, but real ones made by some psycho rapists possibly to threaten and blackmail the victim. The original videos, which are 8 mins and 4 mins long, are with me. I cut them short to protect the identity of the victim... but the rapist is for you to see," she added.
She posted the videos online after blurring the victims' faces and highlighting the faces of the accused, with an intention to finding the rapists. She has asked people to identify the rapists and help police to nab them.
"We have to 'stand up now to end this', these rapist have to be traced... shamed and punished. No matter which hole on mother earth they are enjoying right now... If you know of anybody who has received any such videos, inform me firstname.lastname@example.org I am not seeking for help...I am demanding for it," (sic) she posted on her Facebook page.
Krishnan, a rape survivor herself, launched #ShametheRapistCampaign on NDTV and soon after she was attacked by unidentified men.