"My name is being misused to mislead some girls"
Indian photographer Obed Afridi was arrested on Sunday, September 8, 2019, for using a fake identity in order to exploit female models.
The New Delhi-based resident asked the young women to send pictures of themselves in provocative poses and he claimed in return he would give them acting and modelling work.
Afridi exploited the models by pretending to be Gunbir Singh Sidhu, a well known Punjabi film producer. Mr Sidhu, who has produced blockbusters like Jatt & Juliet, owns White Hill Studio.
Mr Sidhu found out about Afridi’s crime through a friend. He was shocked to discover that Afridi was pretending to be him in order to exploit the women.
The film producer filed a complaint and had explained that the Indian photographer had been using two WhatsApp numbers.
Afridi had been claiming he was the producer and had been requesting photos of the women in return for modelling and acting work.
In his complaint, Gunbir said: “I am writing this to bring to your notice that my name is being misused by using different phone numbers.
“It has come to my knowledge that my identity is being used to call up girls from different phone numbers and address to exploit them by using my name.
“I am a leading film producer of the Punjabi film industry and the owner of the White Hill Studio and White Hill music banner.
“My name is being misused to mislead some girls and I am aware of the extent of damage that has already been done to my name and how far this will go if strict action is not taken against the accused.”
Station House Officer Lakhwinder Singh said:
“As per the complaint, Afridi asked girls for their photos and videos in objectionable poses on the pretext of giving them work in movies or modelling assignments.”
After he was arrested, officers discovered photos of nearly 40 women on Afridi’s phone. They also found messages where he has pretended to be Mr Sidhu and asked for their photos.
It was revealed that Afridi previously worked as a fashion photographer and had exploited several aspiring models in the past.
SHO Singh added: “The accused has been arrested and was produced in the court which remanded him to a day’s police custody.
“The accused would call the girls and would ask them to share semi-nude photos. The investigation is on.”
Afridi’s Facebook account was searched and photographs of dozens of female models were found.
Obed Afridi was booked under Section 419 (cheating by impersonation), 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code. He was also booked under 66-C and D of the Information Technology Act.
India Today reported that police officers are working to find out why Afridi posed as Mr Sidhu to exploit the women.