MANGALURU: When a Tulu film comedian got a friend request on Facebook from a pretty girl calling herself Ashwini, he readily accepted and soon fell victim to blackmail and extortion. A police complaint followed. The Mangaluru police traced the girl to Bengaluru. But, when they caught her after a chase and took her to the jurisdictional Bengaluru police station on Tuesday, they and the comedian who was present got the shock of their lives. Though the accused was dressed as a girl, the Bengaluru police who recognised ‘Ashwini’ told them it was a boy.
‘Ashwini’ alias Adithya (19), a first PU student, is a resident of Subedar Palya, Yeshwantpur. The police also nabbed his accomplice, Arun H S (27), who hails from Kanakapura, and a supervisor with a cab aggregator. Both were charged with blackmail and extortion.
Uday M Nayak, ACP, Central Mangaluru, said they were told by Bengaluru police that the accused duo had cheated many people in a similar fashion. But no one had lodged a complaint. The story began when Adithya sent a friend request on Facebook to the 25-year-old comedian posing as a girl. Soon friendship blossomed, they exchanged phone numbers, began chatting, which progressed to sexting.
Adithya asked the victim to send his nude pictures and the unsuspecting man simply forwarded them. Using the pictures, Adithya started blackmailing him and extorted Rs 65,000 from him. When he demanded more, the victim lodged a complaint.
It was then the second accused Arun came into the picture. He threatened the victim against pursuing the case by posing himself as a senior police official and then as a personal assistant to Home Minister G Parameshwara. The accused were nabbed from Columbia Asia hospital in Yeshwantpur by using the victim as bait. The police team from Mangaluru was shocked to realise that Ashwini was in fact a male. “When a woman constable caught him, he managed to shake himself off and started running. Then the male cops nabbed him after a chase. It was only after he was taken to the jurisdictional police station in Benglauru that we came to know that it was a boy and not a girl,” said an officer who was part of the team.
Adithya had posted several pictures in his FB account in which he had dressed like a girl. His girlish voice came handy to cheat men, according to sources. Though he was enrolled for first PUC, Adithya was not regular to the college, sources said.
‘Her’ FB profile
Adithya identified himself on Facebook as ‘Ashwini Venkatesh’, Advisory Committee Member (CARA), Ministry of Women and Child. His profile also says he (she) is ‘president of Lions Clubs International District 317F’ (sic)