Two students have allegedly died by suicide in separate incidents in Pune after being blackmailed by “women” whom they met on social media, police said.
As per an FIR registered on Wednesday, a 19-year-old B Com student killed himself in the Dattawadi area on September 28 after an Instagram user named Preeti extorted money from him by threatening to circulate his private photos online. He allegedly sent Rs 4,500 in three installments through PhonePe but “she” demanded more money.
Police have booked the unidentified accused under sections 306 (abetment to suicide) and 384 (extortion) of the Indian Penal Code and sections of the Information Technology Act. They said the investigation revealed that the teenager, a native of Ratnagiri district, had told one of his friends about the harassment by the extortionist. His brother had received some of the private photographs, they added.
Police are investigating the mobile phone number used by the accused and the bank account to which the extortion money was transferred by the teenager.
Deputy commissioner of police Pournima Gaikwad said police had contacted Instagram and the online payment application for getting leads about the fraudster.
In the second incident, a 22-year-old student allegedly ended his life on September 30 after an online fraudster who had a woman’s photo as “her” WhatsApp profile picture threatened to upload his private video on social media.
The Sahkarnagar police booked a case on the complaint of the deceased man’s brother on October 9. A resident of Tanaji Nagar in Dhankawadi, the student had long chats and two-and-a-half-hour-long voice and video calls with the fraudster on the day he died by suicide, according to police. He sent Rs 4,500 to the fraudster through PhonePe but “she” insisted he send more, they added.