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Engineer from Telangana held for threats to Kohli daughter

A police officer said the accused has been identified as Ramnagesh Akubathini, an IT engineer from Telangana who had quit his job to do a PHD.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: November 11, 2021 8:28:44 am
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An engineer from Telangana has been detained by the Mumbai Police for allegedly sending obscene and threatening messages targeting Virat Kohli’s infant daughter following the cricket team’s loss to Pakistan in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021.

Police said the accused, Ramnagesh Akubathini, a 23-year-old IIT Hyderabad graduate, recently quit his job with a food delivery app to pursue higher education.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Rashmi Karandikar said, “The accused is being brought to Mumbai after which he will be officially placed under arrest. We have to interrogate him to get details on why he posted such a comment.”

Based on a complaint by Kohli’s manager, an FIR has been registered against the accused under various IPC sections, including criminal intimidation.

An officer from the Cyber Police Station at BKC in Bandra (East) said the accused used fake names to cover his online identity. “He used the handle @Criccrazyygirl to send the tweet. He had all the technical means to hide his identity online in order to make it difficult for the investigation officer to trace him,” the officer said.

The Mumbai Police began its investigation after the threatening tweet, posted following India’s loss to Pakistan in the T20 World Cup, went viral online.

Following the team’s loss, Kohli faced a barrage of online attacks that intensified after he backed his teammate Mohammed Shami, who faced faith-based slurs.

“There’s a good reason why we are playing on the field and not some bunch of spineless people on social media that have no courage to actually speak to any individual in person…This is literally the lowest level of human potential that one can operate at and that’s how I look at these people,” Kohli had said, throwing his weight behind Shami.

“To me, attacking someone over their religion is the most pathetic thing that a human being can do. Everyone has the right to voice their opinion over what they feel about a certain situation, but I personally have never ever even thought of discriminating (against) anyone over their religion. That’s a very sacred and personal thing to every human being,” he had said.

“If people can overlook (Shami’s) passion for his country, honestly I don’t even want to waste one minute of my life to give any attention to those people, and neither does Shami and neither does anyone else in the team. We stand by him fully. We are backing him 200 per cent, and all those who have attacked him can come with more force if they want to. Our brotherhood, our friendship within the team, nothing can be shaken,” he added.

The Delhi Commission for Women too had asked the New Delhi Police to register an FIR and arrest the accused.

The notice by Swati Maliwal, Chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women, read, “The Delhi Commission for Women has taken suo motu cognizance on media reports of threats given to the family of the cricketer… It is learnt that he is being also attacked since he spoke against the incessant trolling of his team mate (Mohammed Shami), who was targeted for his religion by online trolls. This is a very serious matter and attracts immediate action.”

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