Social media may have blurred geographical boundaries but it undeniably has a menacing hold on our lives. It’s also becoming a fertile field to execute sinister designs. A national daily has highlighted how a senior citizen (63) used a fictitious identity on social media to engage in explicit conversations with young people.
Using fake names and images, he created a charming identity, which he used to convince gullible minors into sharing sexually explicit images. Law enforcement officials in Saurashtra revealed that the senior citizen collected such photographs of 25 boys and 45 girls.
It has emerged that the sexagenarian is a wealthy farmer from Jamnagar who runs an agri-business.
“Distressed by this ordeal, one of the girls’ parents approached us to file a complaint. Our investigation led us to a farm near a town in Jamnagar. We were astounded to discover that the IP address traced back to a phone in possession of a local farmer,” an investigative officer was quoted as saying.
His alleged activities surfaced last year when three girls declined his advances on social media. Hurt by rejection, he morphed the images of the girls into pornographic ones, profiled them as sex workers, and even mentioned their phone numbers.
“He cunningly utilised a philanthropic guise to establish connections with young students,” the officer told the daily. “He would organise felicitation ceremonies for outstanding achievers in Classes 10 and 12 and award citations and cash prizes to meritorious students. He would gather details of the boys and girls who caught his attention. Subsequently, he would create fake social media profiles, use images the students had posted online, and initiate conversations. For instance, he would impersonate a high-achieving boy to engage with a girl, and vice versa.”
The officer added, “The accused must be really good at impersonation as he successfully forged intimate connections with nearly 70 boys and girls, ultimately coaxing them into sharing explicit pictures.”
“Initially, we suspected someone had misused the farmer’s phone, but further inquiry revealed that the elderly man had fabricated a profile and initiated contact with the girl. Upon thorough questioning, he confessed to being adept at creating and utilising social media profiles to chat with young boys and girls for fun.”
The man was questioned in connection with a similar case in August last year but was released on bail.