Mumbai: Mumbai’s Dahisar Police on Monday arrested Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sainath Durge after questioning him in connection with the morphed video of Shiv Sena MLA Prakash Surve and a woman leader, which surfaced on the internet.
Mumbai Police said it has, so far, arrested 6 people in connection with the morphed viral video. Earlier, on Monday, a Mumbai court sent four of the accused persons, who were arrested for allegedly making a morphed video of the woman leader from Shinde Sena, to police custody till March 15.
“The 4 arrested persons were produced in court which sent them to police custody till March 15,” an officer from Dahisar Police said.
The Maharashtra government, meanwhile, put together a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case.
“The Maharashtra government has formed an SIT to investigate the morphed video of a Shiv Sena spokesperson. Six teams led by an IPS officer will investigate the matter with the help of the Cyber Police,” state minister Shambhuraj Desai said in the state Assembly on Monday.
“So far, four people have been arrested and out of the four, one accused is connected to the social media team of the Uddhav Thackeray faction,” added the Minister.
Dahisar Police said it was interrogating Sainath Durge, a core committee member of the Uddhav faction’s Yuva Sena, in connection with the matter.
The case pertains to Saturday evening when a rally was organised at Dahisar. The rally was attended by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
During the event, Shiv Sena MLA Prakash Surve and the woman leader welcomed the chief minister on stage.
According to the complaint, during the rally, some miscreants made a video of Surve, the MLA, along with the woman leader. It was alleged that they edited the video, with an obscene song playing in the background, and made it viral on the internet, Mumbai Police said.
After the video went viral on Saturday night, leaders and workers from the Sena’s Shinde faction reached the Dahisar police station and demanded action against the accused.
Based on the complaint filed by the woman leader, the police registered a case against unknown persons under IPC sections 354, 509, 500, 34 and 67 and started an investigation into the matter.
The woman leader told ANI that she had been at the receiving end of hate for a long time.
She added, “The attacks on me started when my friends and I started working with CM Eknath Shinde. We have been subjected to abusive messages and derogatory comments on social media.”
She said she always chose to ignore the hate that came her way, but matters escalated after the morphed video was circulated and made viral.
She added, “Our local MLA Prakash Surve, CM Eknath Shinde and several BJP leaders were present at the rally. Someone shot a video, morphed it and made it viral on social media.”
She said women won’t enter politics if such things happen.
“They are trying to assassinate the character of a woman who happens to be in politics. There are many women working as journalists or in other jobs. If this is how they assassinate our character, no woman will ever come into politics,” she said.
She alleged further that two of the accused persons to be arrested are “office bearers of the Thackeray faction”.
“I lodged a complaint with the police after which two of them were arrested. They are office bearers of the Thackeray group,” she alleged.
Further investigation is underway.