The Delhi Police on Monday registered a case against a person for running a YouTube channel named ‘The Crazy Sumit’. The channel had uploaded a video of him forcibly kissing women in Connaught Place of the national Capital in the name of a prank.
The video showed the man walking up to women, kissing them, and then running away. In one incident, another man chased him but he managed to flee. The video triggered nation-wide outrage, with people and organisations questioning the obscene act, forcing the YouTube channel to remove the video.
Delhi Police spokesperson Dependra Pathak confirmed the news and said that the FIR has been registered by the EOW under sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the IPC and 67 (punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of the IT Act.
The move came after the police sought legal expertise to understand under what sections a case can be registered as none of the women in the video have lodged a complaint.
It was also reported that the social media platforms, where the video was being circulated, told the cops that they can share data only after legal action is initiated into the matter.
"Now than an FIR has been registered, it will be easy for the investigating officer (IO) to approach the service providers, including YouTube and Facebook, to identify the source through which the video was uploaded," a police official was quoted as saying.
Investigators will be scanning Verma’s Facebook profile to gain details on his whereabouts and will also be writing to Facebook to share the log details of his profile. Police is also hoping that women, who were seen in the video, will come forward and lodge a complaint, said the officer.
The video drew criticism on social media platforms. Other videos by Verma, which were promptly deleted after the police reacted to the incident, included titles such as ‘Seducing girl prank on dad’, ‘Peeing on people prank’, ‘Seducing girl in washroom prank’ and ‘Sex with girlfriend prank on mom’.
The accused later uploaded an "apology” video, in which he said he didn’t mean to hurt the sentiments of people and that he respected women and was thankful to viewers for pointing out his mistake. He also said that he had realised his mistake and had deleted the video. The apology video was also deleted later.
The video had come to the Delhi Police’s notice through media, after which cops wrote to the social networking sites to remove the content.
Police said they were also expecting the women recorded in the video to come forward and lodge a complaint. "We often see this kind of sexual perversion on social media in the name of pranks, to get online publicity or even money,” a senior police officer said.
The youth who made the videos has been active on YouTube since 2015. Channel ‘The Crazy Sumit’ has nearly 1.5 lakh subscribers.