Mumbai police have arrested three men in the age group of 19 to 22 from Haryana in connection with the chats on Clubhouse app, in which objectionable and abusive comments were allegedly passed against women, an official said on Friday.
The cyber police station of the Mumbai crime branch made the arrests late on Thursday night.
While two of the accused -- Jaishnav Kakkar, 21, and Yash Parashar, 22 -- were held from Faridabad, the third one, identified as Akash Suyal (19), was nabbed from Karnal, he said, adding that they are being brought to Mumbai.
Parashar is a law student, while Kakkar studied in commerce stream. Suyal has completed Class 12 education, the official said.
"A complaint had been lodged on January 19, 2022 by a woman at the Cyber police station, following which an FIR was registered. In her complaint, the woman had alleged that the participants of the Clubhouse chats had used objectionable remarks against women. She also complained that her photographs as well as those of her childhood friend were used in the chat room on October 27 and November 27 last year during a discussion about women," Milind Bharambe, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) said.
During the probe, police found that two chat rooms had been created on the Clubhouse app on January 16 and 19 (this year), he said.
"Some of the participants discussed and made derogatory statements about women. They also talked about auctioning female body parts," he said.
Although there were around 300 participants in each of these two chat rooms, those who used objectionable language against women are the accused in the case, he said.
A Twitter user 'Jaimine' had uploaded a video of the Clubhouse chats, which were also shared on Instagram from an account named 'Lotus Watch'. As objectionable and abusive language against women was used, it created an an uproar, the official said.
"A user named as KIRA XD was the moderator and the main speaker of those Clubhouse chats, which were widely circulated on social media on January 16 and 19. It was found that Akash Suyal had created the KIRA XD account and he was the alleged moderator and main speaker," he said.
Based on the woman's complaint, a case was registered by the Cybre police under IPC sections 153 (A) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc), 195 (A) (threatening a person to give false evidence), 354 (A) (sexual harassment), 354 (D) (stalking), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), 500 (defamation) and section 67 of IT Act was registered, he said, adding two separate teams were formed to investigate the case.
Following Suyal's arrest from Karnal, the city police have got his custody for three days, the official said.
Kakkar was known on Clubhouse by account name @jaishnav and Yash Parashar was known as Sher Singh ka Papa, Biker gang 5, pardhan@haryana_aala, he said.
Meanwhile, in a tweet posted early this morning, Shiv Sena's Rajya Sabha member Priyanka Chaturvedi praised the city police for the arrests in the case.
'Kudos @MumbaiPolice, they have got cracking on the Clubhouse chats too and some arrests have been made. Say no to hate. #Clubhouse,' she said in the tweet.
On Wednesday, the Delhi police had written to the Clubhouse app and search engine Google, seeking details about the organiser of the alleged audio group chat in which 'obscene comments were made against Muslim women'.
Official sources had said that the police had also identified some members of the group audio chat, which included men and women from both communities, as part of the investigation.
A Mumbai-based organisation had also lodged a complaint with the city police on Wednesday in connection with the Clubhouse app, seeking its deactivation, and also registration of a case, the official said.