21-year-old engineering student from Bangalore was arrested by staff at the Mumbai Police Station for allegedly using his Twitter account to “share derogatory content” from the app which hosted forged photographs and objectionable comments targeting Muslim women.
Sources said the student was arrested in Bangalore and taken to Mumbai. He risks being arrested.
“The 21-year-old is a second year civil engineering student. He used his Twitter account to share derogatory content from the app. We detained him, ”said a senior IPS official. The officer said the student was located through the IP address of the Twitter accounts used to upload the photographs. He has not yet been arrested.
When asked if the student was also suspected of being involved in the development of the app or part of a larger group, the officer replied, “We’re going to ask him about all of this. “
Based on a complaint filed by one of the women targeted by the app, the Mumbai (West) Criminal Police Cyber Police Station filed an FIR on January 1 against unknown individuals who developed the application and some Twitter accounts that disseminated its content, under IPC Sections 153 (A) (promotion of enmity between different groups for religious reasons), 153 (B) (imputations, claims detrimental to national integration), 295 (A) (willful and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings), 354 D (harassment), 509 (indecent insult) and 500 (defamation) and section 67 (transmission of obscene content in electronic form) of computer law.
The app was hosted on US-based GitHub on December 31. Forged photos of at least 100 Muslim women, along with obscene remarks and comments, have been posted online.
India’s Computer Emergency Response System (Cert-In), the hub for monitoring cybersecurity incidents and related threats, has been asked to form a ‘high-level committee’ to investigate the incident and coordinate with state police force cyber cells.
Late Saturday night, Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw tweeted that GitHub had blocked the user, and that Cert-In and the police were “coordinating other actions.” On Sunday, in a separate tweet, Vaishnaw said the government “is working with police organizations in Delhi and Mumbai on this issue.”
Separate FIRs were registered in the case by Delhi and Mumbai police on Sunday. In her police complaint, a Delhi-based journalist accused strangers of promoting hostility, sexual harassment and insulting women.
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi had amplified women’s complaints on social media. Maharashtra State Minister for (Urban) Interior Satej Patil raised the issue with the state cyber police department.
On Monday evening, Patil tweeted: “Mumbai police have made a breakthrough. While we cannot release details at this time as it may hamper the ongoing investigation, I want to assure all victims that we are proactively prosecuting the culprits and that they will face the law very soon. “