Indian man arrested for
threatening to rape
Kohli’s infant daughter


NEW DELHI: Indian police arrested a software engineer on Wednesday for allegedly threatening to rape the infant daughter of cricketer Virat Kohli following India’s defeat to Pakistan in the T20 World Cup.

Police said investigators from the Mumbai Police Cyber Cell arrested Akubathini Ramnagesh after his tweet targeting the cricketer’s 10-month-old daughter went viral.

The 23-year-old suspect is facing charges of sexual harassment, criminal intimidation, defamation and publishing obscene material. “He has been detained and is being brought to Mumbai,” a police officer said.

Virat Kohli, wife Anushka Sharma and daughter Vamika

Kohli is married to Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma and the couple welcomed their first child in January.

Ramnagesh is alleged to have issued the threats from his Twitter account following India’s first-ever World Cup defeat to Pakistan in the opening game of the tournament on October 24.

The 10-wicket loss prompted trolling of the Indian team, including the side’s only Muslim player, Mohammed Shami, who was subjected to a storm of social media abuse.

Several former cricketers and Shami’s teammates, including Kohli, denounced the hateful outpouring against the bowler.

Virat Kohli lashed out at the “spineless people” who abused bowler Mohammed Shami online after his side’s defeat in their Twenty20 World Cup opener against Pakistan last weekend.

Virat Kohli with daughter

“There’s a good reason why we are playing on the field and not some bunch of spineless people on social media that have no courage to actually speak to any individual in person,” Kohli told reporters.

The India team as well as the Board of Control for Cricket in India had stayed silent after the incident and today’s players rarely speak out so forcefully. However, several former Indian players decried the abuse on social media.

The entire India attack went wicketless in the Dubai blockbuster between the neighbours and rivals, and Shami, who is Muslim, was the victim of online abuse including Islamophobic messages.

“Attacking someone over their religion is the most, I would say, pathetic thing that a human being can do,” Kohli said.

“I don’t even want to waste one minute of my life to give any attention to those people, and neither does Shami, neither does anyone else in the team.”

The 32-year-old said that online abuse had become a “source of entertainment in today’s world” and that he was confident the episode would not mar the dressing room atmosphere.

“We stand by him fully. We are backing him 200 per cent … Our brotherhood, our friendship within the team — nothing can be shaken.”