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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Social media star ‘Funbucket’ Bhargav arrested on charges of raping and impregnating 14-year-old

The Andhra police arrested Chippada Bhargav, also called Funbucket Bhargav, following allegations of raping and impregnating a 14-year-old girl. His shot at fame came from the comedy videos he uploaded on the now-banned TikTok. Addressing the media, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) (Disha police station) Prem Kajal said that the accused is well-known on social media for his viral videos. Disha police stations were set up to investigate crimes against women and children in Andhra Pradesh in 2019. 

Astonishingly, the girl lives in Vishakapatnam, 600 kilometers away from Hyderabad. The sexual attacks came to light when the girl`s family members lodged a complaint with the Pendurthi police station under the Visakhapatnam police commissioner. The young girl is now four months pregnant. 

Chippada Bhargav/ ACP Prem Kajal addressing the media

According to the complaint, Bhargav saw the girl on social media and allegedly approached her promising to make her the next superstar. He then proposed to the girl but she rejected him. However, he was able to befriend her under the pretext of making ‘viral videos’.

The ACP said that later on, he threatened the girl telling her that he had taken videos and pictures of her while she was in the changing room. He then sexually assaulted the girl more than once, both at Vizag and Hyderabad.

The accused lives in Hyderabad from where he was arrested and charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO). The police have also charged Bhargav under sections pertaining to sexual assault and assault or criminal force on women. His SUV and a mobile phone have been seized by the cops. The ACP also warned against sharing the rape victim’s identity on social media.

A former girlfriend alleged that he is a serial womanizer who has little respect for women and that he emotionally blackmails ladies. Important lessons remain to be learned as to why and how the girl child was able to freely interact with adults at such a young age and what were her parents/caretakers doing. This is happening at a time when such sickening assaults are being reported on a daily basis and it is the guardian who has to be the first line of defense.

Parents have a duty to stay involved in their child’s life while maintaining the fine line between being over-protective and negligent, educate them about the perils of social media, monitor the child’s social media usage, and keep them away from garbage OTT content like Bombay Begums which shows 13-year-olds snorting cocaine and drinking alcohol and sharing breast selfies with boys for ‘fun’. 

Following the complaint, Police Commissioner Manish Kumar Sinha entrusted the case to the Disha police station. A special team of police went to Hyderabad and arrested Bhargav and produced him before the Vizag magistrate on April 19. He has been remanded till May 3. Prem Kajal said that the charge sheet will be filed within seven days and the police have assured speedy prosecution.

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