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Mumbai youth arrested for circulating obscene mail

By K. Manikandan

CHENNAI, FEB. 29. The cyber cell of the Central Crime Branch has arrested a 26-year-old youth in Mumbai on charges of circulating obscene mail about a woman.

Acting on a complaint from the woman working in a software company at Nungambakkam, the police arrested Suhas Katti from his home at Andheri on February 25. The woman told the police that she received an obscene mail on February 9.

The mail had been sent to all members of an e-group on February 7 and 9. The mail carried the victim's office and home telephone numbers. Copies of the letters were also sent to the victim. Since then, the victim had been receiving vulgar calls over the telephone.

The crime branch police subscribed to the group e-mail by creating a new address and managed to gain access to the mail.

During investigation, they were able to trace the internet protocol number and narrowed down on two browsing centres in Mumbai. The victim, who was briefed about the developments, suspected the role of her classmate while she was doing her Master of Business Administration course in Mumbai.

A police team visited the two browsing centres at Mahim and Sion and interrogated the staff. Though they were able to confirm that the mail was sent from the centres, they could not establish the user's identity as the registers in the centres were not maintained properly.

Meanwhile, the complainant supplied the address of the classmate she suspected of sending the messages. The police team went to the house at Andheri West and confronted Suhas, who confessed to having sent the mail. He was arrested and produced before a magistrate at Andheri and was remanded to custody for three days. On Friday, he was remanded to judicial custody by a Chennai court for 15 days and lodged in the Chennai Central Prison.

The youth had come to Chennai and was staying in the victim's house for over a week earlier this year. He has been arrested under section 67 of the Information Technology Act for publishing obscene information in electronic form. If convicted, the youth faces up to five years in prison and a fine of Rs. 1 lakh. The police said supervisors and owners of browsing centres from where such letters were sent could also be punished as per the provisions of the Act.

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