Guwahati: In a first of its kind incident in Mumbai, administrator of a WhatsApp group has been arrested for adding a woman’s mobile number without her consent to a group that shares pornographic content.
The accused Mustaq Ali Shaikh, 24, a carpenter from West Bengal, is now in police custody. He is arrested under IPC sections for outraging the modesty of a woman, and under 67 and 67-A of the IT Act.
Matunga police, who arrested Shaikh on Thursday, said this was a lesson for all administrators to be cautious on who they add and what is posted.
Informing about the incident Investigating officer Maruti Shelke said the complainant, a housewife, said her number was added to a group, ‘Triple XXX’ in September. “She thought it was a prank by friends but found pornographic photos and videos flooding the group. She then lodged a complaint" he added.
In her complaint, she said that when she looked at the administrator and 12 group members’ numbers in the morning, she realised she did not know any of them. Senior inspector Bharat Bhoite said that after registering a complaint, the police found that Shaikh’s phone number was from West Bengal.
Shelke further said that “Just when we were about to send a team to West Bengal, the mobile service provider told us Shaikh was very much in Mumbai. He was arrested from the Sion-Dharavi area.”
“During interrogation, he apologised and said that he may have accidentally added the complainant’s number. He said he thought the number belonged to his brother-in-law and did not remember how he had the complainant’s number. He said he had no intention to hurt anybody and that the group was formed by his friend with no woman members,” added Shelke.
Meanwhile, police have seized Shaikh’s phone and have sent it to the Forensic Science Laboratory to retrieve its data. Cops have also sought the call detail reports of other group members who could become witnesses against Shaikh.
The maximum punishment Shaikh could get under the IT Act, 2000, is up to five years imprisonment for the first time. If he commits the crime again, he can be sent to jail for up to seven years and fined Rs 10 lakh. In July, a group administrator from Madhya Pradesh was arrested for allegedly posting anti-national messages. In August too, a group administrator from Bengaluru was arrested for circulation of communally provocative messages.
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