Days after a private Instagram chat went viral on social media, leading to arrests, an investigation has revealed that a girl impersonated a boy named 'Sidharth' to fake plan her own rape. While the incident happened on Snapchat and as among the screenshots that went viral amid the boys locker room debate last week, it is not part of the Instagram group chat 'Bois Locker Room'.
On Sunday, Delhi Police's Cyber Cell revealed that one of the screenshots that had gone viral during the "boys locker room" debate, in which a boy allegedly threatened a minor girl with rape, was in fact sent by the girl in question herself.
In the conversation, a boy called "Sidharth" can be seen planning an assault on a minor girl while speaking to another boy. The other boy, however, refuses to participate in the discussion.
As per the Cyber Cell's investigation, "Sidharth" was actually the girl herself. She pretended to be "Sidharth" in an attempt to test the other boy's character.
Social media was instantly flooded with defense for the boys in the "Bois Locker Room" page with netizens sharing the story as the "truth" about the boys locker room incident. While many called for the arrest fo DCW chief Swati Maliwal for urging Delhi Police to probe the incident, others dismissed the entire "locker room" controversy as a ploy by certain women to defame innocent men.
Many made memes in criticism of the alleged "silence" of feminists who were quick to outrage against the "Bois Locker Room" chats when they first went viral.
This is the reason I DON'T BELIEVE in 'all men are trash'— ਸਿਮran🌞 (@simranpreet_kw) May 11, 2020
It's NOT the GENDER that's TRASH
It's all about TRASH MENTALITY
Not all men are sex predators and not all women are saints
BLAME THE PERSON, NOT THE GENDER #BoysLockerRoomTruth #boyslockeroom #BoisLockerRoomcase pic.twitter.com/cPeNUFRNDT
Not the sane chat
This one-to-one chat, however, had taken place on Snapchat and not Instagram.
The 'Bois Locker Room' chat on Instagram came into limelight after it was found that members of the chat, consisting mostly of school-going teenage boys from South Delhi, actively slut-shamed and body-shamed minor girls' photos and even discussed rape. A police investigation was started upon request of DCW and three persons have been arrested with regard to the case including its adult admin and a juvenile member.
As per a report in Times of India, the Snapchat screenshot featuring "Sidharth" was initially being investigated as part of conversations by the boys who were members of the "Bois Locker Room" group since it went viral at the same time. However, upon investigation, it was found that none of the 27 boys identified from the group were part of any conversations that went viral on Snapchat.
Soon after the news of the Snapchat conversation and Sidharth's real identity broke, however, many including popular media sites instantly assumed the chat was part of the "Bois Locker Room" chat on Instagram.
The Snapchat conversation between "Sidhart" and her alleged victim, on the other hand, did take place and was indeed staged by a woman who reportedly wanted to "test the boy's character". But it was not part of the "Bois Locker Room" chat on Instagram.
As per a report in The Print, the Snapchat conversation went viral after the boy who received the messages from "Sidhart" shared its screenshot with his friends as well as the girl herself. This was at the same time when screenshots from the "Bois Locker Room" chat on Instagram were going viral. According to police, the two screenshots from two separate platforms got mixed up "by coincidence" due to the sensational nature of the case.
“This Snapchat conversation about assaulting a girl had nothing to do with the Bois Locker Room group. It is a separate conversation, on a separate platform,” a senior police officer told The Print.
“Due to its sensational nature and due to its availability in different student groups, it got mixed up with the ‘Bois Locker Room’ case,” he added.
Both cases deplorable
While the chat on Snapchat and the ones on Instagram were not the same, the incident was condemned by many including gender rights activists and DCW chief Swati Maliwal who had previously condemned the "Bois Locker Room" chats.
"Disgusting that a girl sent out snapchat msg to a boy planning her own rape. ‘Bois Locker Room' chats are not connected to this Snapchat but equally offensive & warrant legal action! The girl endangered cause of hundreds facing cyber abuse everyday! MUST be acted against too!" Maliwal wrote.
Other rights activists have also condemned the Snapchat conversation in wake of the suicide of a 17-year-old boy from Gurugram who allegedly committed suicide after being accused of sexual molestation on social media.