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.”