THE Cyber Cell of Mumbai Police have arrested a 28 year old man from Nalasopara, for allegedly giving rape threats to a city based comedian, via video. Comedian Agrima Joshua, who recently courted attention and controversy after a clip of one of her stand up acts went viral on social media last year. In the said video, Agrima Joshua was seen commenting on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in an objectionable manner, as claimed by Shiv Sena and MNS activists.
Anil Deshmukh, Home Minister, through his twitter handle, had tweeted that Umesh Dada alias Imtiyaz Shaikh has been arrested by Mumbai Police on Monday.
Shaikh happens to be a friend of another Instagram Influencer Shubham Mishra, who had also made a similar video where he abused Joshua, and threatened her with rape. Mishra was also detained and booked by Vadodara Police on Sunday evening.
“We have taken suo-moto 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, 354A, 354B, 505, 506, 509 of Indian Penal Code and 67A of Information Technology Act. He will be produced in court tomorrow,” said Rashmi Karandikar, deputy commissioner of police (Cyber), Mumbai Police.
Joshua has been on receiving end of severe online abuses, trolling and rape threats online, since last few days, after a clip of one of her stand up performances from 2019 went viral on social media. In the video, Joshua allegedly made fun of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s upcoming statue in Maharashtra and mentioned some funny things that she had read about it on the website Quora.
Her clip went viral following which Shiv Sena leader complained against her to Maharashtra’s home minister. Later activists from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) vandalized the Khar studio where she had performed. After video of MNS’s stunt was shared on social media, Instagram influencers Shubham Mishra and Shaikh uploaded videos on social media giving her rape threats for disrespecting Shivaji Maharaj.
Both have even hurled abuses at not only Agrima Joshua but also her mother and sister.
Many prominent personalities such as Mallika Dua, Kunal Kamra and Swara Bhaskar and other journalists criticized the videos of Shaikh and Mishra and sought intervention from National Commission for Women (NCW). Subsequently, Maharashtra’s Home Minister Anil Deshmukh directed Mumbai Police to initiate legal action against Shaikh and Mishra.
In a video posted on Twitter, Joshua had apologised for hurting the sentiments of the followers of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Deshmukh has said that he has also asked police to take legal consultation on Joshua’s video and check if her comments amount to an offense.