Virat Kohli: Man arrested over rape threats to India cricket captain’s infant daughter

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File photo: Virat Kohli and Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma have a nine-month-old daughter  (PA Wire)
File photo: Virat Kohli and Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma have a nine-month-old daughter (PA Wire)

Police in India’s Mumbai city have arrested a man for threatening to rape the nine-month-old daughter of Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli.

The accused, identified as 23-year-old software engineer Ram Nagesh Srinivas Akubathini, was arrested from the southern Indian city of Hyderabad on Wednesday. He will be taken to Mumbai for questioning.

A Twitter account with the username “criccrazyygirl” had issued the rape threats to Kohli and Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma’s daughter after the skipper tore into trolls who attacked his Muslim colleague because of his religion.

The threats led to outrage on social media, and several people demanded the arrest of the person behind the account. Initially, several people claimed that the account was a Pakistani bot, but fact checks by media outlets revealed that the account belonged to an Indian.

Taking suo motu cognisance of media reports regarding the threat, the Delhi Commission for Women last week issued a notice to the police in capital Delhi and asked them to take immediate action. The commission asked the cyber crime department to register a First Information Report (FIR) — a police complaint — and share a copy, as well as other details of the accused by 8 November.

Kohli had slammed “spineless trolls” after they targeted Muslim player Mohammed Shami and falsely accused him of throwing the opening T20 World Cup match with Pakistan held in Dubai on 24 October.

This was one of the several instances of clampdown against Muslims — the minority community in India. Several Muslim citizens were arrested or booked for allegedly cheering Pakistan’s victory. Some were charged under a draconian anti-terrorism law, while others faced sedition charges.

Slamming the bigoted campaign against Shami, Kohli said: “Attacking someone over their religion is the most, I would say, the 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 added.

Soon after, Kohli was at the centre of a vicious attack, where right wing hardliners accused him of forwarding Pakistan’s agenda and demeaning Hindus. Several Twitter users had also hoped that the Indian team would lose its next match as a form of retribution.

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