Explainer: What is the MMS scandal that has rocked Chandigarh University?

Massive protests were held by Chandigarh University students in Mohali Saturday midnight after their talks with the authorities apparently failed following the videos of 60 girls taking baths in the hostel were leaked and went viral.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Sunday, September 18, 2022, 06:08 PM IST
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Protests by Chandigarh University students in Mohali, police investigate the matter | sourced

A Chandigarh University student from Mohali was arrested Sunday after a massive protest and outrage against her for allegedly leaking objectionable videos of girl students of a private university.

Police arrested the girl student, who allegedly leaked personal videos of her dorm mates.

What exactly happened:

Massive protests were held by Chandigarh University students in Mohali Saturday midnight after their talks with the authorities apparently failed following the videos of 60 girls taking baths in the hostel were leaked and went viral.

The protest was against the accused for making videos of her fellow hostel mates and sending them to a man in Himachal Pradesh's Shimla, who uploaded these videos on the internet. Students were in a state of shock when they saw such videos of them having a bath surfaced online.

The woman student accused of leaking the videos was also allegedly demanding money from others for not leaking them.

Police investigation:

Police reached the spot and arrested a girl student who allegedly made those videos and sent them to a boy in Shimla, who shared those on social media platforms.

The accused is a first-year MBA student, police said.

The protesting students also claimed that after the videos went viral, girl students living in the hostel attempted suicide. However, police refuted the suicide attempts claim.

Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Vivek Soni denied any incident of death, injury or attempt to suicide in the aftermath of the video leak and said that only one girl fainted who was hospitalised and is now stable.

Electronic devices and mobile phones have been taken into custody and will be sent for forensic examination.

SSP Soni told The Indian Express that the woman had admitted that she sent her photographs to her friend but they were verifying whether she had sent pictures of other girls as well. 

The police said they are verifying claims that the woman, who was accused of leaking the videos, was being blackmailed by a man. They added that a case under section 354C pertaining to voyeurism under the Indian Penal Code and Section 66E of the Information Technology Act (punishment for violation of privacy) has been registered against the woman at Kharar (Sadar) police station.

Suicide attempt claims:

There were rumours that several women students attempted suicide after the clips of them taking baths went viral. However, the police have dismissed the reports.

Chandigarh University clarifies on 'suicides':

There are rumours that seven girls have committed suicide whereas the fact is that no girl has attempted any such step. No girl has been admitted to hospital in the incident, the University clarified.

All the rumours of objectionable videos shot of other girl students are totally false and baseless. No videos were found of any student which is objectionable except a personal video shot by a girl which was shared by her with her boyfriend, Chandigarh University said. 

What political leaders are saying on this:

Bhagwant Mann: 

Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann expressed grief over the incident and ordered a high-level probe into the matter.  

Sad to hear about the Chandigarh University incident...Our daughters are our pride...have ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident. Will take strict action against the guilty persons. I am constantly in touch with the administration and I appeal to all of you to avoid rumours," the chief minister tweeted in Punjabi. 

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal:

Commenting on the matter, the AAP chief said that it was very serious and shameful and promised the harshest punishment 

Kejriwal tweeted, "A girl recorded objectionable videos of many girl students in Chandigarh University and made them viral. This is very serious and shameful. All the culprits involved in this will get the harshest punishment. Victim girls have courage. We all are with you. Act with patience."

Union Minister and BJP leader Som Parkash:

Som Parkash demanded strict action against the culprits.

"It is an unfortunate incident. Police should take serious action against those involved in this incident so that such incidents do not occur again," the BJP leader told ANI.

Congress senior party leader Pawan Khera:

The Congress leader has appealed to people to not share the leaked video.

"To all responsible Indians, please do not repost, forward or share any MMS/video of the Chandigarh University horror. Let us be a digitally responsible society," he tweeted.

Punjab Higher Education Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer on Sunday ordered a thorough probe in the matter.

He said, "It is really saddening to know about the unfortunate incident at Chandigarh University. Since this matter is very sensitive, it is my request not to forward any unsubstantiated news. There is no news of suicide by any girl student. I assure justice to University students, especially girls. The DC Mohali and SSP have been ordered to conduct a thorough enquiry into the entire incident. Guilty would not be spared."

In a separate press conference, Punjab State Woman Commission Chairperson Manisha Gulati said that ambulances had been called into the campus last night after a few students who were part of the protest started suffering from anxiety. 

Gulati also said that they shall be looking at the issue closely and the warden shall also be questioned. Adding further, she gave assurance to the parents of all students that the accused will not be spared.

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