A 26-year-old man from Vadodara was arrested on Sunday night for uploading a video on Instagram in which he allegedly made a rape threat against a woman stand-up comedian based in Mumbai.
The action comes after the National Commission for Women (NCW) in New Delhi wrote to the chief of Gujarat Police, seeking action against the accused.
According to police, Shubham Mishra, a resident of Deep Darshan society in Atladra area of Vadodara, uploaded a video on his Instagram profile a few days ago in which he allegedly made a rape threat against comedian Agrima Joshua.
A constable registered a suo motu case against Mishra at the Cyber Crime police station, following which Mishra was booked under Indian Penal Code sections 294 (Obscenity), 504 (Intentional insults to break public peace), 505 (Statements conducive to public mischief), 506 (Criminal intimidation) and 509 (Intending to insult modesty of a woman), as well as Section 67 of the Information Technology Act (Transmission of electronic material which is lascivious or tends to deprave or corrupt people).
Sandeep Chaudhary, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Zone 2 in Vadodara, said Vadodara Police received a communication from Pune Police that comedian Agrima Joshua has also filed a complaint against Mishra. “We initially booked him under IPC Section 354 (a) for sexual harassment, but later dropped it because the original complainant is needed to file the case under this section. Since it is a suo motu case, we cannot add it. We also received communication from Pune Police stating that the original complainant has approached them to file a case against the accused who is in our custody,” Chaudhary said.
In a release, Vadodara Police said that the Cyber Crime Cell came across the video posted by Mishra on the Twitter account of Bollywood actress Swara Bhasker, who shared the video to draw the attention of the police.
“Taking cognisance of the accused person’s act, we booked him and arrested him today. The case is further being investigated by the inspector of Cyber Crime police station,” said Jaydeepsinh Jadeja, DCP, Cyber Crime Cell of Vadodara Police.
The alleged threat video uploaded by Mishra on his Instagram handle, with over 35,000 followers, went viral and was shared by popular stand-up comedians such as Kunal Kamra and a few Bollywood actors who sought police action as well as NCW intervention.
Police said that Mishra is a Class 11 dropout and identifies himself as a “social worker”.
Taking cognisance, NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma wrote to Gujarat Director General of Police (DGP), Shivanand Jha, on Saturday.
“Keeping in line with #NCW’s commitment towards ensuring safety of #women online, our Chairperson @sharmarekha has written to @dgpgujarat for taking immediate action against Shubham Mishra, the man hurling abuses against a female comedian in this video,” read a statement from the Twitter handle of NCW.
Vadodara Police will produce Mishra in court on Monday after he undergoes the mandatory Covid-19 test. He has been lodged at the Vadodara Crime Branch lock up for the night.