Makers of a Tamil youtube channel 'Chennai Talks' have been arrested after a video of theirs featuring a woman explicitly taking about sex and alcohol went viral.
The Greater Chennai Police booked the three hosts on charges of obscenity in public places, insulting the modesty of women and criminal intimidation, on Tuesday and termed such interviews of women to be "indecent acts" and warned of criminal action against such activities.
Scripted content on YouTube
A police official told The New Indian Express that the action was taken following a complaint lodged by the woman, who featured in the video. According to the woman, she was paid Rs 1,500 for the shoot.
She said that the show was scripted with explicit concent in order to make it go viral while the channel had assured her about disabling comments in the video. But she stated that she was shocked herself in the video on other YouTube channels later.
The complainant also said that she was threatened by the host and cameraman on Monday when she questioned their activities at Elliots Beach. The police said they had already received a petition against the channel that had started almost a year ago. But what was illegal about the video was, however, not revealed.
Backlash on social media
The viral video, which has now been removed from the channel, features the woman in a light-hearted conversation on sex, sexuality and relationships that led to backlash from people who took to abusing and slut-shaming her on social media.
Among those arrested were Dinesh (31), the owner of the channel; VJ Asen Badshah (23); and cameraperson Ajay Babu (24). The Shastri Nagar Police said that they were informed about the crew's presence at Basant Nagar Beach where they were asking random people uncomfortable questions in order to shoot the videos.
"We received a tipoff from a fisherwoman at the beach that such videos were being shot there and people were being asked uncomfortable questions. Based on this tipoff, Shastri Nagar Sub Inspector Murugan and Inspector Shanmugasundaram went to the beach, where they found the men with microphones and cameras. When they questioned, two of the men said that it was a prank show and even abused the public who tried to intervene," an officer from the Shastri Nagar Police Station told The News Minute.
The YouTubers have been booked under sections 294(b) (sings, recites, utters any obscene song ballad or words in public), 354(b) (assault or use of criminal force on women with intent to disrobe), 509 (Whoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any words, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound), 506(ii) (criminal intimidation), and section 4 of Tamil Nadu prohibition of women harassment act (penalty for harassment to women).
The police have also confiscated their equipment including a microphone, a camera and four smartphones and remanded the accused to judicial custody.