Updated: January 20, 2022 12:40:19 pm
A day after the Delhi Police registered an FIR against people who allegedly made derogatory remarks against Muslim women during a session on Clubhouse app, Cyber Cell officials said they have narrowed down on four-five suspects and will bring them in for questioning.
On Tuesday, the Delhi Police took cognizance of a group on Clubhouse, an audio-only app, where dozens of users participated in a discussion during which derogatory and sexually loaded remarks were made about Muslim women. The discussion was recorded and shared online, prompting the Delhi Commission for Women to write to the police seeking action.
Cyber Cell officials said they have sent notices to the US-based company seeking details of the users/organisers who started the group, and have also sent a notice to Google Play Store to “keep a check” on such apps.
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Sources told The Indian Express that the investigating team has identified a number of participants and are now looking for four-five people who were the “speakers”.
“We have found that all suspects are from adjoining states and not from Delhi. They are all adults. Mostly, the users had accounts under fake names and used aliases on Clubhouse. We heard the conversations on the app and found there were four-five main participants. We are tracing their location and they will be picked up soon,” said a source.
An FIR under IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on the ground of religion), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion) and 354 A (sexual harassment) has been registered in the matter.
On Wednesday, a recording of another group on Clubhouse emerged where some participants can purportedly be heard making vulgar remarks.
Police said they have seen the group and found that a few of the accused in the first group were also participants in the other one. “We are looking into both the groups. We suspect a few people might be using dubbed voices to pose as men/women. We will detain them and question them about their aliases,” said a police officer.
This comes less than a month after an app, hosted on software platform GitHub, used photos of Muslim women alongside derogatory comments meant to imply they were being “auctioned”. The Delhi Police has arrested two men, from Assam and Indore, in connection with the case. And six months ago, another GitHub app held a similar “auction”.
Responding to the groups/discussions, a Clubhouse spokesperson said, “…there is absolutely no place for hate or abuse on the platform. We invest significantly in keeping our community safe and take swift action at any violation of our policies… If and when a violation of our Community Guidelines is reported and confirmed, swift action is taken i.e. suspended or permanently removed from the platform, depending on the severity of the incident. In this instance, the room was reported and those involved in organising were quickly actioned. As always, we can’t predict what humans will say but we can respond quickly once they violate our guidelines. Community health is a top priority for the platform and we have built features such as room title reporting, blocking, shared block lists, removing replays, and NSFW filters, and improved policies that account for the unique dynamics of real-time voice conversations and group discussions…”
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