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As communal violence broke out in Haryana’s Nuh on Monday (31 July), a group of people attacked the Cyber Police Station in the district, allegedly to wipe evidence, as per NDTV. Set up only two years back, the police station has recorded several cases of cyber fraud recently.

According to NDTV, a mob crashed a public bus into the boundary wall of the Cyber Police Station on Monday afternoon. Then, they entered the police station, vandalising property and possibly destroying criminal records. They also allegedly tried to set the documents inside the police station on fire, as per the report.

Why has this attack on Cyber Police Station in Nuh raised eyebrows? Let’s take a closer look.

Know about Nuh

Nuh is a southern district in Haryana that shares a border with Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

As per the 2011 Census, the region has a population of 10,89,406, out of which the majority are Muslims.

In 2016, the Haryana government, helmed by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, renamed the district of Mewat as Nuh, claiming it was done to demarcate the areas in the state from those in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

The Mewat region stretches from Rajasthan’s Alwar and Bharatpur to parts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Mewat, now Nuh, is the most backward district as per NITI Aayog’s rankings released in 2018.

According to Frontline, most of the population in Nuh, which is a 74 km drive from Delhi, relies on agriculture and animal husbandry for their livelihood.

Cybercrimes in Nuh

In May this year, Haryana Police said they have busted a cybercrime racket in Nuh to the tune of Rs 100 crore in which around 28,000 people across India were duped.

“The cybercriminals had defrauded around 28,000 people from 35 states and union territories to the tune of more than Rs 100 crore. They used to deposit money in fake bank accounts to avoid suspicion,” Nuh superintendent of police (SP) Varun Singla said at the time, as per Indian Express.

On the intervening night of 27-28 April, the police had raided 320 locations in 14 villages in Nuh and arrested 66 suspected fraudsters. Those on the run included 20 from Rajasthan, 19 from Uttar Pradesh and 211 from Haryana, The Hindu reported on 10 May.

The arrested were between 18 and 35 years and had mostly studied up to high school, the report added.

Singla said that 1,346 cases were filed against these cybercriminals across the country. During the raids, the police recovered 166 fake Aadhaar cards, five PAN cards, 128 ATM cards, 66 mobile phones, 99 SIM cards, five POS machines and three laptops.

As per the Haryana Police, these fraudsters employed several methods to scam people, such as promising work-from-home jobs, honey trapping by creating fake profiles on social media platforms and posting advertisements with sales on different products on Facebook or OLX, reported Indian Express.

Speaking to Frontline magazine in late July, Nuh SP, Varun Singla, said that criminals in the district often use neighbouring cities of Mathura in UP and Rajasthan’s Alwar as safe havens.

“They know we will need permission from their state police to give chase. They use the technicalities and legalities of inter-state boundaries to their advantage,” he explained.

Following these recent raids in Nuh, SP Singla said in July that Haryana witnessed a 15 per cent dip in cybercrime complaints, reported The Tribune. 

Why have cybercrimes increased in Nuh?

Citing data from the home ministry, Hindustan Times (HT) reported in late May that the Mewat region, spanning three states, has emerged as the newest hub for cybercriminals in India.

In the last three years, the highest number of cybercrimes have originated in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district, followed by UP’s Mathura and Nuh in Haryana.

As per News18, unemployment, compounded by backwardness and inadequate opportunities, led to a spike in crime, especially cyber fraud in Mewat.

The situation further worsened with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, leaving several families broke and hungry. Many young men then turned to crimes, which seemed an “easy and lucrative” option to earn money, according to Frontline.

“It was a time when many people became jobless on the one hand, and a lot of transactions began taking place digitally on the other,” the Nuh SP told the magazine.

Luhinga Kalan, one of the 40 villages along the Rajasthan-Haryana border raided by the police in April, does not even get Clean drinking water and most of its inhabitants live below the poverty line.

As Frontline noted, Nuh, which is burdened by “poverty, illiteracy, and a severe lack of resources”, seems to have “become a fertile breeding ground for tech-savvy scamsters”.


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