Mumbai school CEO held for cyber crime

Friday, April 16, 2010

THANE - The CEO designate of Ecole Mondiale International School has been arrested after a two-year search for allegedly hosting a defamatory blog about a school in Singapore of which he was the principal, police said Friday.

Nandakumar Venkataraman, former principal of the Global Indian International School (GIIS) in Singapore, was taken into custody by the police Cyber Crime Cell.

“We arrested Venkataraman Monday and he was released on bail Wednesday,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (Thane) Prashant Burde.

Venkataraman, 51, was asked to quit GIIS in 2007 after the management discovered alleged irregularities in school accounts.

Burde said Venkataraman was held on charges of hosting an allegedly defamatory blog about the GIIS’s board of governors.

A few months after leaving the Singapore school, Venkataraman allegedly co-started a blog called Global Indian International School Parents Forum For A Better GIIS. The blog supposedly represented parents of children studying at GIIS.

A defamation complaint was first lodged with the police in Thane in June 2008.

In April 2009, investigations revealed that a parent, Ajith Narayanan, was co-moderator of the site and that the blogs were posted from Singapore, said Burde.

Venkataraman’s name came up only after Narayanan gave an affidavit accepting he was a co-moderator and named Venkataraman in his statement.

Based on the complaint, police registered an FIR for cyber defamation and impersonation against Venkataraman.

Both Narayanan and Venkataraman authored the articles and used fake names to post it on the blog and other websites. Police contacted website host Google to provide the technical details.

“It took a lot of time to collect technical details. Only last month we were informed that the blogs were posted from Chennai. Earlier this week, police visited Venkataraman’s house in Chennai and seized two laptops and his mobile phone from which the blog posts were being made,” Burde said.

Said Assistant Police Inspector Usha Suryavanshi: “The seized articles are being sent for forensic examination and we are sure they may contain material that exists on the blogs.”

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