Stand-up comedian Agrima Joshua
Stand-up comedian Agrima Joshua
Video Screengrab

Mumbai Police's cyber crime cell has arrested two more men in connection with the rape threats and abuse of a city-based standup comedian Agrima Joshua on Thursday. Police officials said, investigations has revealed the duo's role in uploading an offensive video and they were picked up from Virar for questioning. Joshua was caught in a controversy after an old video of her comic act went viral, where she had purportedly insulted Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Over two weeks, after Mumbai Police had arrested Imtiyaz Sheikh alias Umesh Dada, 28, a Nalasopara resident for uploading an abusive, threatening video on social media against Joshua, two more arrests of Ashraf Shaikh and Virat Sharma were made on Thursday. Police said, the duo who drive auto-rickshaws for a living, were arrested from Virar and that they had gone underground after Umesh Dada was held on July 13.

According to a senior official, police were tailing them since the last 15 days and managed to nab them from Virar after an intense search operation. Just like Umesh Dada, Shaikh and Sharma had uploaded a video issuing rape threats and abuses to Joshua who had cracked jokes on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's upcoming statue in the Arabian Sea, in which she remarked "funny things" that she read on Quora regarding the statue. Police said, the duo had uploaded videos in a bid to gain popularity and to trend on the social media.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the duo were friends with Umesh Dada, who is also friends with another YouTuber Shubham Mishra, who was arrested from Vadodara by Gujarat Police for similar charges. Moreover, police also shared a video of the duo apologising for their actions on Twitter.

The duo were booked and arrested under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act for obscenity, outraging a woman's modesty, sexual harassment stalking, intentional insult, public mischief, criminal intimidation, insulting modesty of a woman and common intention. They were produced in a local magistrate court on Friday and remanded in police custody.

After the old video of Joshua passing jokes on the Maratha King resurfaced, Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik had written to state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh to take cognisance, who then instructed Mumbai Police and Cyber Police to take legal action expeditiously.

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Free Press Journal