Seven TikTok users arrested for violating lockdown rules

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Published on Apr 21, 2020 10:27 PM IST
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By Suraj Ojha and Pratik Salunke, Mumbai

The Mumbai Police, coming down heavily on TikTok users who are trying to make videos by violating social distancing norms or mocking the police, arrested seven people in two days.

On Monday, the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) police arrested five youth – Avinash Varma, Jalis Siddiqui, Salman Shaikh, Sajid Shaikh and Nafiz Ansari – for making TikTok videos on empty roads, bylanes and society premises.

Investigations revealed that they made around 40 videos since the lockdown, in most of which they performed movie dialogues or monologues on roads, by taking advantage of the lockdown and violating social distancing norms.

Anand Mulay, senior inspector of BKC police station, said,” We received a complaint from a person claiming that a group was violating social distancing norms and making TikTok videos in the BKC area. We registered an FIR [first information report] first with the help of local informers and then technical team tracked them and arrested them from Sant Gyaneshwar Nagar and Bharat Nagar areas.”

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the police booked two youth – Salim Shaikh, 24, and Fahad Shaikh, 27, from Shivaji Nagar. Shaikh, who has more than 5 lakh followers on TikTok, enacted a video while walking near Mahavir Hospital at Baji Prabhu Deshpande road in Govandi, while Fahad was recording him. In the video, Shaikh allegedly told his followers that he is a celebrity and the police will not arrest him for being on the road. After the video was reported, the police tracked the duo down, brought them to Shivaji Nagar police station and made a confessional video in which the duo were made to apologise and admit that they were not wearing masks and that the law is equal for all.

All the seven accused have booked under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Epidemic Diseases Act.

Last month, the Shivaji Nagar police had booked a biker and a pillion rider for stepping out for a joyride during the lockdown after their video went viral. Twenty-year-old Sarfaraz Ali was riding the bike, while Mohamedali Shaikh, 22, who was seated pillion, was recording their video on Tilak Nagar flyover, as the duo went rode at more than 100km/hour in the morning.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021