Shimla Police on Sunday arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with allegations that the offensive videos of several female students staying at a Chandigarh University hostel were leaked and shared on the internet. He is expected to be handed over to Punjab Police, who have already arrested a student in the case.
The defendant, identified as Sunny Mehta, was arrested by a team led by Dr. Monika, Superintendent of Police, Shimla, caught.
Massive protests broke out on the university campus in Mohali on Saturday night after some students claimed that one of their dorm mates had filmed them bathing and shared it on the internet. Rumors circulated that several such videos had gone viral on social platforms, sparking outrage in the state.
However, police and university authorities dismissed the rumors as “false and unfounded”. They also dismissed reports that some students attempted suicide after the episode.
Police said a student appeared to have shared a video of herself with the youth and no offensive video of another student was found. “During preliminary investigations, it emerged that a student who had been arrested had shared her own video with someone allegedly from Himachal Pradesh, whose role is also under the scanner,” said Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police Vivek Sheel Soni said.
The university said in a statement that none of the students attempted suicide. “There are rumors that seven girls have committed suicide, while the fact is that no girl has attempted such a move. No girl was hospitalized in the incident,” Pro-Chancellor RS Bawa said.
“During the preliminary investigation conducted by the university, no student videos were found that are objectionable, except for a personal video taken by a girl shared by herself and her boyfriend,” he said, adding, that the university is fully cooperating with the police in the investigation.
Meanwhile, a fresh protest by a large number of students, including men, took place on the university campus on Sunday night, some of whom accused the university authorities of suppressing the incident.
Most of the protesters were dressed in black and shouted slogans such as “We want justice” in the presence of police, PTI reported.
Police said the arrested student’s mobile phone was confiscated for forensic analysis. An FIR under IPC Section 354-C (Voyeurism) and the IT Act has been registered on the matter and further investigations are ongoing, they added.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann has ordered a high-level investigation into the incident and announced strict action will be taken against those found guilty. He appealed to people not to believe rumours.
“Sad to hear of the unfortunate incident at Chandigarh University…our daughters are our honor…a high level inquiry into the incident has been ordered…strict action will be taken against anyone found guilty,” Mann said in a tweet.