New Delhi: A local youngster, who had posted several prank videos in which he was seen randomly kissing girls and running away, and his close associate were nabbed by Delhi Police on Friday.
Ravindra Yadav, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), said, ”Sumit Kumar Singh (20) and Satyajeet Kadian (25) have been apprehended and two laptops, one video camera, wireless mikes have been seized from them.”
The two youngsters are students of BCA at World College of Engineering and Management, Farrukh Nagar, Gurugram, he added.
“Both are friends and active on YouTube. The video camera belongs to Sumit Kumar Singh. During interrogation, they said that they are doing this for money since YouTube pays them for hits. If they get 1000 hits, they earn something like Rs 700- Rs 800,” said the officer.
The arrest has been deferred for now since Sumit and Satyajeet told police that the girls who were part of the video are their friends and that will be investigated.
We were assuming that the girls are victims but in their statement, they said that those girls are friends and they were party in making the video, Yadav said.
A case was registered last week against Sumit Verma under Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of IPC and Section 67 (punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of IT Act following outrage over the clip.
There is a possibility that we might have to change the sections but that will be decided after the girls are questioned, Yadav said.
Sources said that they Sumit told police during interrogation that the girls in the video studied with him in Gyan Deep Public School in Gurugram.
He has shared the addresses of the girls and police will be visiting their houses to talk to them.
During interrogation, Sumit told police that he wasn’t aware that a case had been registered against him.
‘Crazy Sumit’ Had Uploaded Apology Video
He thought that since he had uploaded an apology video, that was also taken down later, the matter was solved.
He was preparing for shooting more ‘shocking’ videos like scaring a girl standing alone in the lift, catching hold of a girl in the bus or metro, another officer said.
In fact, he claimed that the more shock value the video has, the more likes or hits it gets and he gets to make more money, the other officer said.
YouTube, Google Under Scanner
In reply to an email query, YouTube representative said, “YouTube’s Community Guidelines prohibit content featuring things like harassment, hate speech, shocking or disturbing content, illegal acts, and graphic violence, and we give our users tools to flag content so that we can review and remove anything that violates our policies.”
“We also comply with valid legal requests from authorities wherever possible, consistent with our long-standing policy,” the representative said.
Sumit also told police “that abroad, it’s become a trend to shoot shocking videos that could be vulgar and even here, they earn more money if they produces such videos.”
During interrogation, he claimed that he has been making prank videos since 2015 and had even earned in lakhs for some videos, including one where he had pranked his mother.
The video was posted on January 1 by ‘Crazy Sumit’ on his YouTube page and Facebook page.
The video was copied and also posted on YouTube by other YouTube accounts.
The Cyber Cell of Crime Branch was tasked to nab the accused, he said.
“During investigation, details of his YouTube account ‘Crazy Sumit’ were obtained. Apart from this, details of his other social media accounts- Facebook, Twitter were also obtained,” said the officer.
Besides his social media profiling, his profiling was done by Cyber Crime Team from various other social media websites and a video was found uploaded by ‘Crazy Sumit’ of a party thrown by YouTube to promote and encourage such pranksters in a restaurant ’38 Barracks’ in Connaught Place.
“It was also found that YouTube has been organising various parties and day seminars to encourage such activities by the pranksters. These type of parties are being hosted by a company based in Gurgaon and Mumbai on behalf of You Tube and Google,” said Yadav.
Detained From Gurgaon
From the details obtained, it was found that Sumit resides in Gurgaon. In order to apprehend him, a team under the supervision of DCP Bhisham Singh conducted a raid and apprehended Sumit from his house in Sector-5, Ashok Vihar Phase-III in Gurgaon, the officer said.
They were apprehended at around 7 am and were let off after questioning around 8 pm, police said.
A laptop, video camera, wireless mikes and a trophy given by YouTube congratulating him over crossing one lakh subscribers were seized from his house.
YouTube Prank Videos Inspired ‘Crazy Sumit’
Three years back, Sumit had met with an accident and was bedridden for two months. During this period, he used to watch prank videos on YouTube.
After watching such videos, he got the idea to earn money by making his own prank videos. Till date, he has made 35-40 prank videos.
“In October 2016, he was awarded by YouTube on crossing 1,00,000 subscribers for his channel ‘The Crazy Sumit’.
In December 2016, he planned to make the video of kissing unknown girls and running away. In order to make this video, he contacted his friend Satyajeet Kadian and later on, other common friends including girls,” he said.
His associate, Satyajeet, has shot two prank videos for Sumit. Satyajeet is also a prankster and he has a channel in the name of ‘DC Prank’.
While talking to mediapersons, Satyajeet said, “Such things, if they bear the stamp of the Censor Board are okay to be aired. So tomorrow, if we get the stamp of Censor Board, will this video be okay?”
Sumit’s video was uploaded by him on January 1 on YouTube. But on getting negative comments by the viewers of YouTube, he removed the purported video from his channel but by that time, the video had been downloaded by the other users and posted again on YouTube.
Sumit led police to his associate Satyajeet, who was apprehended from his house in Ashok Vihar Phase III, Gurgaon.
“During interrogation, Satyajeet disclosed that he is a friend of Sumit from college.
“When Sumit started his channel on YouTube in the name of ‘Crazy Sumit’, he joined him and helped him in shooting videos and arranging the cast,” said the officer.
Satyajeet also started a prank channel on YouTube in the name of ‘DC Prank’ from September 2016.
He made three videos for himself. Sumit had shot the “kissing and running” video in three locations, one in Connaught Place and two other places in Gurgaon.
“It is to be verified whether the version of the two suspects is true. Statements of the girls will be taken to know this aspect and that will clarify if they were lured.
“Investigation will also be conducted from the event management company, YouTube and Google to assess their criminal liability. Notices will be sent to them,” said the officer.