"The YouTubers are earning around Rs 1 lakh (£89,000) per month."
Three Indian YouTubers running a Tamil channel (Chennai Talks) were arrested on January 11, 2021.
The accused were arrested on charges of obscenity in public places, insulting the modesty of women and criminal intimidation.
Chennai Talks is a YouTube channel that features young men and women talking about sex, relationships and sexuality.
A statement by Chennai police termed such interviews of women “indecent acts” and warned of criminal action over such activities.
A police official stated that the Chennai Talks YouTubers were arrested in regards to a specific video that went viral.
The accused were arrested following a complaint filed by a woman who claimed that she was threatened by the host and cameraman.
The woman had reportedly questioned the activities of the Chennai Talks crew while they were shooting on Elliots Beach on January 11, 2021.
The nearly three-minute video features a woman casually talking about her sexuality.
The officer, however, did not explain what is illegal about the video.
The arrested persons are 31-year-old Dinesh, who is said to be running the channel since 2019, 23-year-old host Asen Badshah, and cameraman Ajay Babu, aged 24.
The police said they are taking steps to suspend the YouTube channel.
According to police, the trio allegedly insulted women they interviewed by asking uncomfortable questions in public places.
The YouTubers later uploaded selected parts of the interview that had the potential to gain traction online.
However, women who are seen in videos uploaded by the channel appear to be uncomfortable when answering questions posed by the host.
The channel, which has around 200 videos and eight million views, claims that it is into making “fun public opinion videos.”
The police official stated: “After the arrest, the three told us that these are the kind of videos that gain traction online.
“The YouTubers are earning around Rs 1 lakh (£89,000) per month.”
The police also alleged that the team used to ensure more public participation by asking their friends to pose as passersby.
The police reported that their patrol team picked up the YouTubers when they were intimidating members of the public using abusive words at Elliots Beach.
The YouTubers have been arrested under Indian Penal Code sections 509 (word, gesture, or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), 506 (2) criminal intimidation, 354(b) assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe, and 294 (b) punishment for using obscene words in or near any public place.