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Hate app case: Vishal Jha Covid positive, in judicial custody till Jan 24; other two in police custody till Friday

Jha tested positive for Covid-19 early on Monday. He is said to have mild symptoms of Covid and has been admitted to the Kalina quarantine centre.

Written by Jayprakash Naidu | Mumbai |
Updated: January 10, 2022 8:14:26 pm
Sulli deals, Sulli deals Github, Github India controversy, Indian women online Github, Muslim women Github app, Indian Express newsVishal Kumar Jha being taken into custody last week. (Photo: ANI)

A magistrate court in Bandra on Monday sent to judicial custody till January 24 Vishal Kumar Jha, an accused in the case related to the hate app that hosted doctored photographs and objectionable comments targeting Muslim women in the country. The court also extended the police custody of two other accused in the case, Shweta Singh, and Mayank Rawat, till Friday.

Jha tested positive for Covid-19 early on Monday. He is said to have mild symptoms of Covid and has been admitted to the Kalina quarantine centre. While Jha’s lawyer moved for bail immediately after he was sent to judicial custody, sources in the cyber police said they intend to seek further custody when the period ends.

The public prosecutor, Prasad Joshi, requesting further custody said the two accused Singh and Rawat, arrested from Uttarakhand last week, used ProtonMail to send mails in order to hide their identity. This made it difficult for police to trace them.

“Also, the two accused have used more than 10 Twitter handles each and police want to find out if these accused are also involved in similar cases earlier,” Joshi added.

Investigating officer inspector Maushmi Patil of Mumbai Crime Branch also argued that a lot of data is stored on the four mobile phones and laptops seized from them and it will take time to analyse these,  for which the custody of the accused is required.

Three defence lawyers appearing for the accused argued that physical custody was not required as the main accused has been arrested by Delhi police and they are students and first-time offenders. They also said that the accused were falsely implicated and their Twitter accounts were hacked.

After listening to arguments from both sides, magistrate Komalsingh Rajput extended the custody of Singh and Rawat till Friday and sent Jha to judicial custody.

21-year-old Jha is a second-year civil engineering student and was arrested last week from Bengaluru, while 18-year-old Singh and 21-year-old Rawat— were arrested from Uttarakhand.

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