Four employees of businessman Raj Kundra, actor Shilpa Shetty’s husband, have turned witnesses in the case involving production and distribution of pornographic films and told police that they were asked to delete clips, said sources.
The employees, said sources, also confirmed that the clips were uploaded from “HotShots”, the businessman’s controversial app that the police believe was used for streaming porn.
The app, said police, was removed from google store and IOS, so the accused “activated Plan B” and launched another app, Bollyfame.
Raj Kundra, 45, was arrested on July 19 by Mumbai Police. A magistrate’s court sent him to police custody till July 27. A day after his arrest, a lot of data was deleted from the records, said police.
An employee of the Intelligence Bureau, sources said, has been found to have links with another accused Yash Thakur, who is on the run.
Sources said that Yash Thakur befriended the IB official and then got him to work on starting the app to stream the clips.
The official got the app registered in his wife’s name, said police sources. He objected when Yash Thakur started uploading porn clips on the app against his earlier proposal that it will stream only award winning short films, the sources said.
Raj Kundra has said the videos might be described as “lascivious” but do not show “explicit sexual acts”.
His wife Shilpa Shetty had told police that she was unaware of the exact nature of content on the mobile app via which Raj Kundra is accused of streaming pornographic content. She also underlined the difference between ‘erotica’ and ‘pornography’, and said her husband was not involved in producing pornographic content.
Raj Kundra’s lawyer, Abad Ponda, has objected to the content being classified as pornography, arguing that similar material is available on OTT platforms like Netflix.
Maharashtra BJP leader Ashish Shelar has alleged that the state government is deliberately being slow in taking action in the case.
Mr Shelar has written to Amit Shah asking for a multi-ministerial task force in the matter.