Sikh Parents Warned over dangers from Internet perverts
Sarabha Panjab News
03 March 2007
Sikh Parents are being warned of hidden dangers in Internet chat rooms and friends-networks after a teenage girl was duped into meeting a 29-year-old Muslim man.
The man had introduced himself as a 17-year-old ‘Panjabi boy’ named ‘Jags’ when they first began swapping messages on Internet site www.Hi5.com.
A counsellor working for Sikh Awareness Society (SAS) Manjit Kaur spoke to the 15-year-old girl about her frightening experience that began when she met someone on the Internet.
“I thought the boy I was meeting every night on the Internet was 17-years-old.”
"After a few weeks we started talking on the phone, nearly every night for hours," said the girl.
Eventually she agreed to meet him,
“He said he would send a taxi to pick me up and that I could stay with him in his hotel room.”
It turned out the taxi driver was ‘Jags’; real name Shazad Siraj from Bedford, Beds.
The Home Office is warning that up to one in five children could be in danger from these Internet abusers.
Paedophiles are regularly using Internet chat rooms to lure vulnerable children as young as 13, according to the disturbing report.
Manjit Kaur from SAS says;
“We have seen a steady increase in the number of abuse cases originating from the Internet. Older manipulative men are targeting naïve Sikh girls.”
“In most cases these men are Muslim, which goes to show that these are racially motivated cases of sexual exploitation. We urge all Sikh parents to lock down certain sites and keep the computer in a centrally located area; such as the living room.”
Manjit Kaur is working with the SAS Victim Rehabilitation Program and has given counselling to over 40 victims of racially motivated sexual exploitation.
“It is disappointing to see that the Sikh community at large is still unaware about these problems. This is largely due to the fact that these issues are still very much taboo in Panjabi culture. Therefore Sikh leaders are reluctant to openly talk about them” say Manjit Kaur.
How can you tell that your child may be a victim (or is being preyed upon) by a computer sex offender? If you have experienced any of the following, you have reason for concern.
Spending long hours online (especially in the evening)
Phone calls from people you don't know
Child turns off the computer when you enter the room
Withdrawal from family activities
Reluctance to discuss Internet activities
Affected by issues discussed? Contact SarabhaPanjab@googlemail.com.