The cell phone numbers of many women are being sold off in shops that sell recharge packs in Uttar Pradesh according to reports by the Hindustan Times. The price for the phone numbers are based on the woman’s looks and range from 50 for an ‘ordinary’ girl to 500 for a ‘beautiful’ girl. This appalling racket was discovered after a staggering 50,000-odd complaints of phone harassment to the local women’s helpline number.
Women complain of receiving harassing phone calls from unknown numbers and in some cases–vulgar pictures through Whatsapp. Lucknow district tops the list when it comes to registering complaints.
Strangely, none of the men have been booked for selling phone numbers and abetting harassment. Police have booked only three men under Section 467 for selling SIMs with fake documentation.
According to Section 507 of the IPC–criminal intimidation by an unknown person can lead a two-year jail term. Section 509 also states that any word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman can lead to fine as well as a one-year jail term. The police have said that jails will overflow if everyone dealing in these auctioning of phone numbers were booked.