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India

Boys' chat group raises alarm among Indian activists

Police arrest schoolboy and investigate platform after threats of sexual violence come to light

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Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Boys' chat group raises alarm among Indian activists

A woman holding a child reads posters in Mumbai in December 2019 demanding justice for the rape and murder of a veterinary doctor from Hyderabad. (Photo: Indranil Mukherjee/AFP) 

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An internet boys' chat group has raised concerns in India after claims that it glorifies rape. Children’s rights activists and experts say the Instagram group Bois Locker Room is a bad influence on adolescent boys.

Police in Delhi have lodged a first information report after a girl shared a screenshot of the group’s chat on social media. They have also arrested a boy and are probing the matter.

“It is indeed a matter of concern because the boys are at an age when they are not sure if it is appropriate to chat on this platform. There’s also the possibility that it can mislead them instead of giving the right information,” Sister Lucy Kurien, founder and director of Maher, a community and interfaith organization for abused and destitute women and children, told UCA News.

“There are various reasons why children indulge in such activities as, especially in urban areas, children have access to technology and are exposed to the world, whereas their parents are not capable of dealing with the present challenges.

“Lack of love, attention, loneliness and proper guidance from parents are the main reasons children choose to spend time with friends and indulge in experiments.”

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"As Pope Francis has said, we live not so much in an era of change as in a change of era. That is especially true in Asia and for the churches of Asia. UCA News is the dedicated, Asia-wide news and information service for the Church in Asia and we need your help to maintain the service."