The Rhea Chakraborty Hate is Going Out of Hand. Mumbai Man with Similar Phone Number Harassed

Social Commentary

The Rhea Chakraborty Hate is Going Out of Hand. Mumbai Man with Similar Phone Number Harassed

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

The scandalous aftermath of Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide has swept up an entire cast of characters, from his ex-girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, to politicians like Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut, to the who’s who of Bollywood, and even entire law enforcement agencies like Mumbai Police, Bihar Police, the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI. Now, the latest person to be caught up in the toxicity swirling around Rajput’s death is a man completely unconnected to the case, except for one unfortunate coincidence – his phone number is identical to Chakraborty’s, but for a single digit.

Sagar Surve, a 32-year-old clerical worker residing in Navi Mumbai, has the misfortune of having a mobile number that is very similar to Chakraborty’s. The actress’s  number was leaked when some media outlets, in their quest for TRPs, were flashing screenshots of text messages between Rajput and her on their broadcasts. Unfortunately for Surve, some trolls got her number wrong, which led them to him. A report in Mumbai Mirror revealed the extent of the harassment Surve has undergone, leading to him blocking over 150 phone numbers and resorting to using an acquaintance’s phone until the calls die down.

“I started receiving messages, voice calls, and video calls on WhatsApp. People asked me to send a photograph of myself when I told them that they were mistaken. I tried to ignore the calls, but it only worsened over the next three days,” Surve told Mumbai Mirror. He contacted the police for help, who told him to use an interim number over the next few days as he wants to avoid having to file a formal complaint.

The controversial investigation of Rajput’s death has caused public opinion to turn harshly against Chakraborty, who has been on the receiving end of vilification, threats, and nasty trolling. If the abuse is enough to cause anguish to a completely unconnected individual like Surve, she might be facing it to an even greater degree.

In the name of seeking “justice”, many internet warriors are using Rajput’s death as a free pass to let their ugliest instincts run wild.