The Mumbai Police on Saturday arrested two persons for allegedly spreading fake news about journalist Rana Ayyub on YouTube, The Indian Express reported.
Vidyanshi Krishkumar Trivedi and Ayush Chandramohan Srivastav, both hailing from Uttar Pradesh, had allegedly posted a video about Ayyub on the YouTube channel of online news portal Scoop Beats in January.
Last month, Scoop Beats had apologised to Rana and said that the portal has taken “stern measures” against the two employees. The portal has reportedly taken down the YouTube video as well.
On Saturday, Ayyub wrote on Twitter that Trivedi and Srivastav had accused her of being aided by Pakistan, and claimed that she had been banned from Saudi Arabia. She added that the two had attributed morphed anti-India tweets to her.
The journalist said that the arrests were “a big step in the direction of justice”.
Srivastav had allegedly morphed a tweet in Ayyub’s name, the National Herald quoted an unidentified police official as saying.
“We had issued notices to both the accused, asking them to present themselves for inquiries,” the official said. “They came to the police station on Saturday and after inquiries established their offence, they were both placed under arrest.”
Ayyub has been outspoken in her criticism of the Indian government on several topics. She has alleged that she has been a target of hate and misinformation campaigns in the past as well.
On February 10, the Mumbai Police had arrested a 24-year-old man from Bhopal, Siddharth Shrivastav, for allegedly sending death and rape threats to Ayyub on social media. Srivastav, a salesman in a garment shop, had threatened to kill Ayyub if she continued her work as a journalist.
The police had registered a first information report in the matter on February 1, after Ayyub had complained of having received threats online.
Four Twitter and two Instagram users were booked under sections of the Indian Penal Code pertaining to sexual harassment, death threats, defamation and outraging the modesty of women.
They were also booked under the Information Technology Act for identity theft and publishing or transmitting obscene material.
According to the police, Siddharth Shrivastav used a false name to operate an Instagram account and to threaten the journalist.