On February 4 of this year, the Mumbai police said they had arrested five people for allegedly forcing women into porn movies. They would promise these aspiring actresses, who came to Mumbai from various parts of the country, roles in web series. However, on the day of the shoot, they would change the script and threaten the women to expose themselves. If the women refused, they were asked to foot the bill for the shooting preparations. Once the movies were shot, the accused made them available on mobile apps, offering subscriptions on the lines of mainstream OTT platforms. They would then put up advertisements on social media platforms. Since pornography is illegal in India, this too was against the law.
According to the police, it would normally be a daylong shoot at a rented bungalow on the outskirts of Mumbai, like Madh Island. There would be minimal staff of five to six people who would double up as directors, dialogue writers, locations scouters and web app developers. These apps became especially popular during the lockdown, with some having a subscriber base in lakhs, said the police.
There were two aspects of the police probe. One was nabbing those who produced these porn shows and the other focused on those who broadcast these clips. Some of these production houses broadcast from servers outside the country.
One such UK production house, found to be uploading such content, came under the police scanner and its executive Umesk Kamat was arrested. An officer said that it was Kundra’s alleged connection to Kamat and the company that uploaded such pornographic content that landed him in trouble.
Kundra had applied for anticipatory bail last month in connection with a case registered by the Maharashtra Cyber police last year. In that case too, the cyber police had registered an FIR against various platforms which they said were involved in showcasing pornographic content. The court is likely to decide on the anticipatory bail application next week.
A day after Shilpa Shetty’s husband Raj Kundra was arrested for his alleged role in a case involving production and distribution of pornographic films, an old tweet of his has resurfaced on the internet. In the tweet, the businessman had questioned why pornography was legal and prostitution wasn’t. Ok so here go’s Porn Vs Prostitution. Why is it legal to pay someone for sex on camera? How is one different to the other?? (sic),” Raj Kundra had tweeted in March 2012. The tweet re-emerged after his arrest late last evening. Twitter users commented on the tweet calling it ‘ironic’, referring to his arrest by Mumbai police, and asked whether he had received his answer now. Many users commented saying that he must have learned the difference. As of now, nine arrests have been made so far in the case. Kundra’s close friend, Ryan Thorpe was arrested as well and produced before the court with him on Tuesday. The case was registered in February after a woman filed a case about being forced to do an adult film after being promised an acting gig, PTI quoted a police officer as saying. Kundra’s name came up during the interrogation. The police said that Kundra was a “key conspirator” in the case and said there was sufficient evidence against him. Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale said on Monday, “We have arrested Raj Kundra in this case on 19/7/21 as he appears to be the key conspirator of this. We have sufficient evidences regarding this. Investigation is in progress.”