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06 Jun 2017

Haryana: WhatsApp conversations land rapists students in jail

WhatsApp conversations land rapists in jail

In a rare instance in India, WhatsApp conversations led to the conviction of three youths who were found guilty of raping and blackmailing a junior.

The three have been in jail since April 2015; on May 24, two were sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment and another for seven years.

The victim and the accused were students of OP Jindal Global University in Haryana's Sonepat.

In context

WhatsApp conversations land rapists in jail
Accused circulated her nude pictures, forced her for sexual acts


Accused circulated her nude pictures, forced her for sexual acts

The final-year law students had been raping the victim since 2013, when she joined the university.

Main accused Hardik Sikri used WhatsApp to circulate her private pictures and threatened to release them unless she fulfilled their sexual demands. Once he made her travel to Chandigarh to have sex.

Two other students, Karan Chhabra and Vikas Garg, were also involved. All three hail from Delhi.

What do the WhatsApp conversations show?

"The court accepted the (WhatsApp) evidence because it was original and taken from the girl's cellphone directly," said advocate Prashant Mendiratta. Additional sessions judge (ASJ) Sunita Grover observed the chats made it clear "the (victim) was totally under control and dominance of Hardik".

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University releases statement, slammed for 'trivializing' incident

Sikri is a four-time gold medalist and a state-level volleyball player; the other two also had good academic records.

Following the sentencing, university registrar YSR Murthy emailed all students, urging them to make choices that will "take us closer to our academic or career goals".

However, students criticized it for trivializing the incident to "dos and dont's mentioned in the student code of conduct".

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