A 20-year-old man who created Instagram profiles with the morphed photographs of more than 300 women across the country for the sole purpose of harassing them was arrested in Gurugram on Friday, police officers aware of the matter said on Saturday.
The suspect, Akash Parmar, of Morena in Madhya Pradesh, searched for Instagram profiles of women, downloaded and morphed their photographs, and uploaded them on profiles he created, said a senior police officer associated with the case.
“He had created fake profiles of over 300 women just to harass them by circulating their morphed photographs. He had no other motive. He did not want to chat with the women or extort money from them. He was doing this for the last four to five months,” said Vipin Ahlawat, assistant commissioner of police (ACP) of the cybercrime (West) police station in Palam Vihar, Gurugram.
The police got on Parmar’s track after a Gurugram resident filed a complaint at the cybercrime (west) police station that someone had created a fake profile of his sister on Instagram and was harassing her by uploading her morphed photographs.
Based on the complaint, a first information report was registered against the unidentified suspect at the cybercrime (west) police station on October 3 under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act.
ACP Ahlawat said that the police sought details from Meta about the user who created the fake Instagram profile of the woman, after which they received the suspect’s phone number and identified him as Akash Parmar, a resident of Morena and a school dropout.
The police served Parmar a notice to appear before them for investigation, following which he arrived at the cybercrime (West) police station from Morena on Friday. After a detailed interrogation, he was arrested, said investigators.
The ACP added that the mobile phone Parwar used to create the fake profiles has been seized. Parwar targeted public Instagram profiles because personal photographs can be easily accessed from them, he added.