New Delhi: The Delhi Police Cyber Cell has identified a total of six IDs on the social audio platform Clubhouse that were part of a chatroom — ‘Muslim gals are more beautiful than Hindu gals’ — where lewd, Islamophobic remarks were made, ThePrint has learnt.
All are between 18 and 22 years of age, and their online activity increased due to physical classes being suspended during the pandemic, sources in the Delhi Police said.
The Delhi Police had filed an FIR after a Clubhouse chatroom on 17 January engaged in obscene discussion about Muslim women and how having sexual relationships with them would increase the “virtue” and “good deeds” of Hindu men. A screen recording of the conversation was posted on Twitter.
Primary investigation has revealed that some of the IDs, identified after six people were questioned earlier, were also part of two or three similar Clubhouse groups last year, the sources said.
The screen recordings of these chats had been sent for technical analysis to verify all the voices passing lewd remarks. So far, the Mumbai Police have arrested three people in relation to this and another Clubhouse chatroom, while the Delhi Police have made no arrests so far.
“Before proceeding with any arrest, the authenticity of the video recording is to be ascertained in order to rule out any voice modulation in the video as it may impact the trial in the case,” said K.P.S. Malhotra, deputy commissioner of police, Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit, Delhi Police.
“The only evidence of the vulgar remarks in the present case is the first source, who had video (screen) recorded the audio conversation. Clubhouse does not record the audio conversations in their chatrooms. Before making any arrest in the case and proceeding further, the authenticity of the video and the voice matching of the alleged persons is to be ascertained,” Malhotra said.
A senior police officer speaking on the condition of anonymity said: “All of the main suspects are between the ages of 18 and 22. They said that they joined Clubhouse somewhere around June-July last year. They have said that their internet activity — (time spent on) social media platforms, including hours on Clubhouse rooms — increased as schools, colleges and universities are shut and classes are on online mode due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
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The police had called in an 18-year-old man from Lucknow who is allegedly behind the ID ‘Bismillah’ and is the suspected creator of the first Clubhouse group. He was asked to join the investigation.
Sources in the Delhi Police said that during questioning, the man had stated that he had created the chatroom on the instructions of another ID — ‘Sallos’ — to whom he had handed over the moderator key. “The 18-year-old’s phone has been seized. He informed the police about the real identity of ‘Sallos’,” another senior officer said.
According to the police, the ID ‘Sallos’ was created by a 17-year-old Class 12 student from Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh. “He admitted to being the moderator of the group. He later changed the account name to Alcoholic Singh (username: alcoholic.singh). His mobile phone has been seized for forensic examination,” the officer said.
The other IDs identified are: ‘2ez4Akash xd’ (username: ‘versace_on_me’), ‘??hrsh’ (username: ‘coochielove’), ‘Roma’, and another with the username ‘koko0107’.
The officer said that another user had created an account on Clubhouse in July 2020 by the name of @mr_casanova. “He has been using this account continuously since then. He also created another account on Clubhouse around two months ago under the name of @versace_on_me (name Toosexytoohandle) as a backup account,” said the officer.
“He said that he shared his second account with his friend Akash Suyal on 6 January. Akash used this account on Clubhouse with the name ‘ryuga’, which he later changed to ‘2ez4Akash xd’ and then to ‘Kira XD’,” the officer said. Nineteen-year-old Haryana resident Suyal was arrested by the Mumbai Police on 20 January.
The ID ‘??hrsh’, sources said, has been identified as a first-year B.Com. student from Dehradun, Uttarakhand. “He created the account ‘??hrsh’ in June 2021 but deactivated it on 19 January after the incident. He claimed that he had participated in the Clubhouse room for only about 10 minutes but did not pass any comments,” the officer said.
The officer added, however, that there was another account with a similar name, ‘Harsh’, in the same Clubhouse room.
The two other IDs identified are ’Roma’ and username- koko0107. “Roma and the second user have joined in the investigation,” the officer said.
ThePrint had earlier spoken to Roma, who claimed that she had joined the group seeing users with names like ‘Bismillah’, and that she didn’t endorse any of the things said on the group. She said she had only joined “thinking it’s an open place for discussion”, and left the chat room when the participants started talking about the Babri Masjid.
Sources said that the user ‘koko0107’ had only passed general remarks.
(Edited by Rohan Manoj)
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Source: The Print