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Updated: June 7, 2013 14:11 IST

Cops clip tweeters’ wings for harassing singer

Vivek Narayanan
Comment (8)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Chinmayi Sripada
Chinmayi Sripada

In what can be termed as a stern warning to people who harass women on social media, the Chennai City Police arrested an associate professor at the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and have detained another person, working in the Tirupur Collectorate, for harassing singer Chinmayi Sripada on Twitter.

Police are looking for three more persons.

On October 18, Chinamayi lodged a complaint stating that a few individuals were tweeting about her and her mother and making “casteist” and “vulgar” remarks. The comments were posted by twitter handles @rajanleaks, @Senthilchn, @Asharavkay, @losongelesram, @vivajilal and @thyirvadai. “The problem started two years ago after they included me on a hash-tag on a fishermen’s issue and wanted me to support the cause. I did not entertain the request as there were vulgar comments about many top leaders,” Chinmayi told The Hindu on Monday.

After this, they started threatening her, she said. “They even passed vulgar comments on my mother. Most of my tweets were misquoted to give a feeling that I am against Tamil, Tamil Tweeters and bloggers and also against Sri Lankan Tamils. Some even started tagging me on Facebook,” she said, adding: “Finally, I decided to seek police help.”

Based on her complaint, a case was registered under section 66-A of the Information Technology Act and Section 4 of Prevention of Women Harassment Act by the Cyber Crime Cell of Chennai City Police. City police commissioner S. George said: “During investigation we found one tweet was posted by @Sharankay. Tracing his IP address, we found that his real name was Sarvana Kumar Perumal, an architecture graduate. We found that he has tweeted from his mobile and desktop at home.” The accused was arrested on Monday.

“One more person called Rajan has been nabbed in Coimbatore and is being brought to Chennai. He works at the Tirupur Collectorate. Special teams have been sent to Puducherry to nab another suspect,” said the Commissioner.

Mr. Geroge said : “Such acts can torment women and in some cases, even lead to suicides. Even today [on Monday], we received a complaint stating that a school girl was being targeted online. The punishment for such crime is stringent.”

Chinmayi said it was important for women to stand up against injustice. “They should approach the cops who are there to help us.”

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This report doesn't make the circumstances clear in this case but if police action is taken based on a few offensive comments on twitter, this is a very bad trend.

Does anyone notice the bad precedent it sets on free speech? As it stands, India already has no decent protections for freedom of speech.

If you come across an offensive view/comment (from your viewpoint) online, just ignore and move on. Can't people behave like adults? Nobody has any right not to be offended.

By the way, your notion of 'free speech' will be tested when you come across views you find abhorrent. If you limit your support for speech on views you agree with, then you lack conviction.

from:  Ram
Posted on: Oct 24, 2012 at 13:22 IST

Good move by the commissioner Mr. George. This would be an eye-opener
for all those who think they can post whatever they want in the
Internet. Not many realize that their physical location address is
recorded in their postings in the form of IP addresses.

from:  Subramaniam Dharmarajan
Posted on: Oct 23, 2012 at 19:42 IST

Harassment is condemned anywhere. Just because she was a celebrity who had differing views, she need not be targeted.
There are people who are writing that she should be careful and she is immature to express such views that she expressed etc., just because she is young. Democracy is when anyone can express any views (even stupid) as long as they are not threatening and abusive.
When the line is crossed, it is no longer freedom of expression but just plain threat. These people, especially the professor, should be dealt with seriously.

from:  Maya
Posted on: Oct 23, 2012 at 19:36 IST

This should serve as a warning bell for all those online people who take
the liberty to mindlessly abuse others and conveniently hide under the
cloud of anonymity. Hope stringent action is taken against such people.
Congrats to Chinmayi for taking this bold step!

from:  Naveen Kumar G
Posted on: Oct 23, 2012 at 18:24 IST

Of late, there were so many bogus language fanatics in social networking sites raking up hatred and false claims of how one particular language community is being suppressed and how everyone should rise and fight this oppression. One thing they fail to understand is that they, too, have a moral obligation to refrain from publishing vulgar and provocative comments in public domain. They have to question themselves about their own values. It is only fitting that these rogues are behind bars. Way to go Chinmayee! Hope the talks of women empowerment sees the light of day and really means something.

from:  Ram
Posted on: Oct 23, 2012 at 12:16 IST

It is good to see the City Police Commissioner initiating tough action against the abusers -- the case needs to be brought to logical conclusion by sending the thugs to jail so that an example can be set for other potential online abusers.

from:  Yashwanth P
Posted on: Oct 23, 2012 at 11:09 IST

A very good move by Chinmayi.. Bringing out these kind of incidents
along with the police action on it will instill confidence in the common
man. The media should follow up on the case and let the public
know the punishment so that the number of crimes can go down.

from:  kavin
Posted on: Oct 23, 2012 at 10:52 IST

Bravo Chinmayi! Good for you! others should learn this from her even though she is famous and one of the best singers in the industry she didn't think twice if this affects her future!

from:  Sajiv
Posted on: Oct 23, 2012 at 00:27 IST
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