New Delhi: The main accused behind actor Rashmika Mandanna’s deepfake video, which went viral on social media platforms, has been arrested from Andhra Pradesh by a Delhi Police team, an official said on Saturday.
The accused, identified as Eemani Naveen, 24, a resident of Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district, was responsible for creating, uploading and circulating the deepfake video through various social media platforms.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, IFSO, Hemant Tiwari said that a complaint was received alleging that adeepfake video of a noted film actress is being circulated on social media platform.
During the preliminary analysis it was found that original video was uploaded by a British Indian girl on her Instagram account in October 2023 and later on, the deepfake video of the actress was created and circulated on various social media platforms.
“On investigation, more than 500 social media accounts related to the alleged deepfake videos were analysed. The videos were analysed in the Cyber Lab under the supervision of ACP Vijay Gehlawat. During this, IFSO unit interrogated more than several social media account holders from all over India and collected relevant information,” the DCP said.
After deep analysis and interrogation of suspected persons, finally the account of the alleged was traced on Instagram.
“During further analysis, it was found that the original video of one British Indian girl was posted on October 9, 2023 and the deepfake video was posted on October 13, 2023. After identifying the alleged perpetrator, a team reached Guntur and located Naveen, who confessed to his crime,” said the DCP.
On interrogation, he disclosed that he is a big fan of Rashmika and had created and run fan pages, he added.
“The accused also created two more fan pages of another two noted celebrities. He was managing all three pages and uploading original/clean videos. Followers of fan page of two more film stars are in lakhs,” said the DCP.
To increase the followers of his Rashmika page, Naveen created the deepfake video of the actress and posted it on the fan page on October 13.
“Due to this deepfake video, the fan following of this page increased from 90,000 to 108,000 within two weeks. Later, when he realised that it became a national sensation. He also saw tweets from famous film stars against the said deepfake video, got scared, deleted the said posts from the Instagram Channel, and also changed the name of Insta channel. He had also deleted the relevant digital data from his devices,” the DCP said.
This legal action was prompted by a complaint from the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), which took suo-moto cognisance of the ‘deepfake’ video involving the actress.
“After our notice, Delhi Police has registered an FIR in the @IAmRashmika fake video case. The accused will be arrested soon,” former DCW chief Swati Maliwal had written on X.