Who's who of Startup Inc rallies behind Stayzilla CEO Vasupal

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In a rare show of solidarity, startup founders like Freshdesk's Girish Mathrubootham, Mobikwik's Bipin Preet Singh took to Twitter to express their solidarity with Stayzilla CEO Yogendra Vasupal who was arrested on Tuesday on charges of fraud.

Others, including Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and inMobi founder Naveen Tewari demanded Vasupal be granted bail. "Many startup founders, including myself, have seen the ugliness of getting on the wrong side of people with bad intentions," said Bahl, while Tewari exhorted "save entrepreneurs".

Startups have been rallying behind Vasupal and have exhorted other startups to "tweet this to Prime minister who has been extremely passionate about #startupIndia and can surely help protect an entrepreneur and his family". Hashtag -#ReleaseYogiNow -has been taken up by Stayzilla employees and startup founders like Zarget's Arvind P, who are tweeting to Prime Minister's Narendra Modi's handle.

"Let the law take its course, but intimidation of Stayzilla founders crosses a line. It's unhealthy for entrepreneurship in India. We stand together with entrepreneurs. @PMOIndia, #StartupIndia needs your support!" said Sachin Bansal, chairman, Flipkart.

Ravi Gururaj, founder of QikPod and Nasscom board member condemned police action. "Disappointed + distressed @ heavy handed tactics against @YogiVasupal Stayzilla. Totally unacceptable. Alerting authorities requesting help!," tweeted Gururaj. He also thanked the Karnataka IT Minister for his quick intervention.

Nasscom vice president and head of its internet, mobile and e-commerce council Prasanto K Roy asked "Why Bangalore City Police is ha rassing Stayzilla founders? One is in police lockup illegally?" Other notable members of the startup community, who rallied behind Stayzilla were -VC fund Nexus Venture Partners' Pratik Poddar, Toppr.com founder Zishaan Hayath, Kalaari Capital VC Ashish Dave, Petoo cofounder Ritesh Dwivedy and WYO founder Rajveen Khandelwal.

Balakumar P, senior product manager, Stayzilla, thanked twitterati for its support.

A SaveYogi movement emerges

A community called SaveYogiSaveStartupMovement has sought to rebut the charges made by advertising agency Jigsaw that led to Yogendra Vasupal's arrest. "Resorting to puffed-up criminal charges and below-the-belt intimidatory tactics that threaten the safety and well-being of Yogendra's family members is an act of cowardice and goondaism that we, as a startup ecosystem, need to have zero tolerance towards," the group said in a statement.

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