BADIN     -     A teenage girl, who was allegedly blackmailed by a group of boys on social media, committed suicide on Monday.

Aneela Parmar (18), a resident of Tando Ghulam Ali, about 60 kilometres from Badin, gave in to the mental torture allegedly inflicted by Soum Meghwar and his friends from Khathar village and nearby localities.

According to the sources, the accused traced Aneela’s cell number sometime ago and started sending her messages via WhatsApp and other social media channels. The accused then started posting her edited pictures on social networking sites, showing her sitting with them at different gatherings.

When Aneela’s fiancé Mahesh Meghwar learnt about her pictures, he broke up with her.

The accused also posted on social media Aneela’s pictures with her elder sister. Later, they started demanding Rs50,000 every month and told her they won’t let her get married if she stops paying them on a monthly basis. The accused also shared girl’s edited pictures with her relatives and threatened her with consequences if she refuses to pay them money.

Source said that her parents convinced Aneela to marry another man, Ashoke Kumar, after her first fiancé broke up with her. When the accused learnt about this, they traced Kumar’s phone number and shared Aneela’s edited pictures with him as well. As a result, Kumar, a resident of Tando Allahyar district, also refused to marry her.

Consequently, Aneela gave in to the mental torture she was suffering from and ended her life by taking an overdose of sleeping pills. She was rushed to a Hyderabad hospital, but her live could not be saved. According to the sources, Aneela left a letter explaining the circumstances surrounding her suicide. The letter reads: “Please help me save my life because I don’t want to die.”

Aneela’s father Lakhman Parmar has got a case registered against the accused and wants capital punishment for those responsible for his daughter’s death.

The Badin SSP has directed the Tando Ghulam Ali police to arrest all those accused of blackmailing Aneela and lodge an FIR against them under the cyber crime law. Police have yet to arrest the accused.

Women in Pakistan face frequent abuse on social media. According to a report by the Digital Rights Foundation in May 2017, 40 percent of women in the country face various forms of harassment on the internet.

Pakistan has seen a surge in social media use with more than 40 million Facebook users. The rapid growth has sparked an online debate on misogyny, with some women highlighting daily hate and pornographic messaging.

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