Gay hiking

Indian police arrest three who targeted men on gay dating app

The Grindr app is seen on a cellphone in this photo taken in Shanghai, China March 28, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song/Illustration/Files

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AHMEDABAD, India, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Indian police said on Tuesday they arrested three members of a gang they accuse of beating and robbing men contacted through a gay dating app.

Gay sex is no longer a criminal offense in India, but the fear of being ostracized or ridiculed makes several members of the South Asian nation’s LGBT community keep their sexual identities a secret, making them easy prey for the unscrupulous.

“Those arrested have confessed to robbing at least 15 or 20 people using the same method in the last four months,” said JP Jadeja, a police officer in Ahmedabad, the main city in the western state of Gujarat, where the arrests were made. .

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He added that the accused used the gay dating app Grindr to find potential victims, before luring them to isolated areas to beat or rob them, in some cases through forced bank transfers.

They bet their victims would shut up lest their preferences be exposed, but one complained to the police.

Grindr officials did not immediately respond to questions about the incident.

In recent years, Grindr has pledged to enforce a “zero tolerance policy” towards racism, transphobia and other discrimination as the dating app seeks to clamp down on abusive behavior.

Since the Supreme Court decriminalized gay sex in 2018, public opinion in India’s biggest cities has favored the repeal of colonial-era law on the issue, but conservative religious groups and rural communities remain opposites.

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Editing by Rupam Jain and Clarence Fernandez

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