India reported over 24 lakh instances of online child sexual abuse during three year periods between 2017-20 with 80 percent of the victims being girls below the age of 14 years, according to Interpol data.
The figures had prompted the CBI to start a massive operation against the alleged peddlers of online child sexual abuse material (CSAM) in India with several websites under the scanner for their liability in hosting such material, officials said.
The Interpol data indicates that content and consumers of CSAM are growing at a sharp rate with one finding reporting that 1.16 lakh queries on child pornography were made on a single internet search engine.
The central probe agency plans to take up the matter with social media websites and hosting platforms under the relevant legal provisions to examine their role and liability, sources said.
“The data from Interpol is worrisome. It shows 2.4 million instances of online child sexual abuse with 80 percent victims being young girls,” a senior official said. The CBI operation is targeted at 50 online social media groups having 5,000 participants from across the globe who share and peddle CSAM.
The groups have 36 members from Pakistan, Canada (35), USA (35), Bangladesh (31), Sri Lanka (30), Nigeria (28), Azerbaijan (27), Yemen (24), and Malaysia (22), the sources said.
CBI arrests 7: The CBI has arrested seven persons in connection with its operation against alleged peddling of online child sexual exploitation material, officials said on Wednesday. Ram Gautam, Satender Mittal, and Purushottam were taken into custody from Delhi, Surendra Kumar Nayak from Dhenkanal in Odisha, Nishant Jain from Noida, Jitender Kumar from Jhansi and T Mohan Krishna from Tirupati, they said. More arrests are likely in the case.