Mumbai: A man (28) was arrested from Nalasopara by Mumbai Police’s cybercrime department on charges of allegedly issuing rape threats to stand-up comedian Agrima Joshua.
The stand-up comedian has recently been accused by a Shiv Sena legislator of insulting the Maratha warrior king, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, during one of her shows a year ago.
The video of her alleged stand-up act went viral on social media that also earned the wrath of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers.
She has been receiving rape and death threats since the video went viral on social media.
Umesh Dada alias Imtiyaz Shaikh was arrested by Mumbai Police on Monday, state home minister Anil Deshmukh tweeted in the afternoon.
Social media influencer Shaikh is a friend of Shubham Mishra, another social media influencer, who initially made a similar abusive video issuing Joshua rape and death threats.
Mishra was booked and detained in Vadodara, Gujarat, on Sunday.
“We have taken suo-motu (on its own motion) action and have arrested Shaikh from Nalasopara. We are investigating, who helped him make the video. We are probing if he and Mishra decided to put the objectionable video together. He has been booked under Sections 294 (obscene acts or words in public), 354A (sexual harassment), 354B (a man, who assaults or uses criminal force to any woman or abets such act with the intention of disrobing), 505 (whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement, rumour or report), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 509 (intention to insult the modesty of any woman) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and Section 67A (publication or transmission in the electronic form of any material, which contains sexually explicit act) of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 200. He would be produced in court Tuesday,” said Rashmi Karandikar, deputy commissioner of police (DCP) (Cyber), Mumbai crime branch.
In the video, Joshua allegedly commented on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s upcoming statue in Maharashtra and some funny things about it that she had read on a website.
Initially, the Sena lawmaker had filed a complaint against her to Deshmukh. Later, MNS workers vandalised the restaurant in suburban Khar, where she had performed the alleged offensive stand-up act last year.
Shaikh and Mishra uploaded the threat videos on social media after MNS workers’ vandalism act did the rounds on social media.
The duo has also hurled abuses at Joshua’s mother and sister.
Many personalities such as stand-up comedians Mallika Dua and Kunal Kamra and actor Swara Bhaskar took note of the offensive videos and sought intervention from the National Commission for Women (NCW) and also Deshmukh.
On Monday, Deshmukh promised to take stern legal action against the guilty.
Joshua has also posted a video on her Twitter handle, where she has apologised for hurting the sentiments of the followers of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, an icon in Maharashtra.
Deshmukh has said the Mumbai Police has sought legal opinion in the case filed against Joshua and action would be taken if she is found guilty of insulting Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the video.