28-year-old social media influencer Irfan Khan from Mumbai was arrested after he faked his own death last week on social media in the guise of going viral.
Known as Iffy Khan on YouTube and Instagram, Irfan shot a video of himself dying by suicide after being rejected by a lover. The video was then edited to make viewers believe that Khan died by jumping in front of a train. The video, posted on Instagram, had about 44,000 views.
It was also shared on Twitter where it quickly caught the eye of users and hit about 300,000 views. Khan has been charged under section 336 of the Indian Penal Code, for committing an act to endanger the lives of others and himself, section 505 (1) for publishing or circulating statements containing a rumour or alarming news, and under the Indian Railways Act, for nuisance and trespassing.
"I made it for entertainment purposes. It was a mistake. My intention was never bad or to encourage people to (die by) suicide," said Khan in a statement to VICE World News. He has taken down the video and issued a public apology for the same.
However, he also claimed that his video was the first of a video series where, in the next video, he would wake up from his dream, see his parents' face, and the video would end by giving a message that would encourage people to not take such drastic steps.
Shubham Joshi, a friend of Irfan, said, "He wanted to go viral, but didn’t have any other content to make. He wanted to make a video to raise awareness against suicide, but the one he made was wrong."
(With inputs from VICE World News).