BJP suspends 2 leaders after obscene video goes viral

Pictorial representation. Photo credit: DH

The BJP has suspended a party leader and an office-bearer of its youth wing in Kullu district after a video which purportedly shows them in a compromising position was circulated on social media.

The Himachal Pradesh Police registered a case on Saturday under the Information Technology Act and warned the people against sharing the video, officials said Sunday.

The 12.35-minute video was reportedly shot a few months ago by the two people themselves. It is suspected that the now-suspended BJYM leader's wife got her hand on the video after the woman sent it to her husband through WhatsApp in February.

An audiotape of the wife's 13.05-minute conversation with the woman involved in the case in which she asks her to stay away from her husband was also released.

The two leaders, who were associated with the Kullu district unit of the BJP and the party's youth wing Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), have been suspended, state BJP vice president Ganesh Dutt told PTI.

A First Information Report (FIR) was registered on Saturday after the woman seen in the video moved the police, Kullu Superintendent of Police Gaurav Singh said.

He said the FIR was registered under sections 67 (punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) and 67 A (punishment for publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act in electronic form) of Information Technology Act, 2000, at Banjar police station, he added. 

The district police chief warned social media users against sharing the video or photos of the incident.  

"Appropriate legal action will be taken against those who have already shared it, will share it in the future or will keep it," the district police chief said.

When asked, the SP said legal action would also be taken against the leader's wife if she is involved in making the video public.

However, he said no action is possible against those who have already deleted the video. Several websites and WhatsApp group admins have deleted the video after registration of the FIR, he added.

Under section 67 of the IT Act, any person found sharing such video may be punished on first conviction with imprisonment up to three years and with fine up to Rs. five lakh, and in a second or subsequent conviction may be punished with imprisonment up to five years and also with fine up to Rs. 10 lakh.

Under section 67 A of IT Act, the punishment on first conviction is imprisonment up to five years, with fine of up to Rs. 10 lakh, and second or subsequent conviction may attract a jail term up to seven years and fine up to Rs 10 lakh. 

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