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Main accused arrested in Rashmika Mandanna deepfake video case

The video quickly went viral and several social media users came forward to confirm that it was a deepfake

Main accused arrested in Rashmika Mandanna deepfake video case

Alleged creator of deepfake video of actor Rashmika Mandanna after the arrest (Photo/ANI)

NEW DELHI: A 24-year-old person has been arrested for allegedly creating the deep fake video of actor Rashmika Mandanna, Delhi Police said on Saturday.

The Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) Unit of Special Cell, Delhi Police arrested Eemani Naveen (24), the alleged mastermind who is said to have created and posted deep fake videos of Mandanna on social media platforms, which drew concerns from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and noted personalities including Amitabh Bachchan.

According to police, the arrested person, a resident of Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh, is a B-tech graduate from a reputed engineering college in Chennai. Deputy Commissioner of Police, IFSO Unit, Hemant Tiwari said that Naveen used to run a fan page for Rashmika Mandanna and also created two more fan pages for another two noted celebrities. "We've arrested the main accused identified as Eemani Naveen, from Andhra Pradesh's Guntur. Laptop and mobile phone recovered from him.

His deleted data is also being recovered...He used to run a fan page of a famous film actress (Rashmika Mandanna) and also created two more fan pages of another two noted celebrities," DCP, IFSO Unit said in a press briefing here. The senior police officer said that the 24-year-old got scared after he learned that his videos have courted nationwide controversy.

"Later when he realized that it became a national sensation. He also saw tweet from famous film stars against the said deep fake video. He got scared and deleted the said posts from the Instagram Channel and also changed the name of Insta channel. He had also deleted the relevant digital data from his devices," the police officer said.

In November last year, a deepfake AI-generated video of actor Rashmika Mandanna appeared online, sparking discussions about digital safety. In the viral video, it can be seen that a woman resembling the actress Rashmika was entering a lift wearing a black swimsuit.

The video quickly went viral and several social media users came forward to confirm that it was a deepfake. As per police, during the investigation, more than 500 social media accounts related to the alleged deepfake videos were analysed.

"The videos were analysed in the Cyber Lab. After the deep analysis and interrogation of suspected persons, finally, the account of alleged was traced on Instagram. During further analysis, it was found that the original video of one British Indian girl was posted on October 9, 2023, and the deepfake video was posted on October 13, 2023.

After identifying the alleged, a team reached Guntur, Andhra Pradesh and located Eemani Naveen who confessed to his crime," police said, adding that he revealed that he is a fan of the actress and used to run her fan page. "Just to increase the followers of page, he created the deepfake video and posted it on the fan page on October 13. 2023.

Due to this deepfake video, the fan following of this page increased from 90,000 to 1,08,000 within two weeks," police added. As per DCP, IFSO Unit, on sustained interrogation of the accused, Naveen disclosed that while pursuing B tech he completed certification in Digital Marketing from Google Garage in 2019.

A laptop and three mobile phones have been recovered from his possession. Further details are awaited.

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