CBI conducts 76 raids for online child porn. One didn’t go according to script

As word of the CBI raid spread in Odisha’s Dhenkanal, the team found themselves surrounded by the womenfolk of the area, many of them armed with wooden sticks. The team was attacked and locked up till the Odisha police came to rescue them
CBI is the nodal agency for the Interpol in India, which has an International Child Sexual Exploitation (ICSE) image and video database, which allows investigators from member countries to share data on cases of child sexual abuse. (HT File Photo/Mujeeb Faruqui)
CBI is the nodal agency for the Interpol in India, which has an International Child Sexual Exploitation (ICSE) image and video database, which allows investigators from member countries to share data on cases of child sexual abuse. (HT File Photo/Mujeeb Faruqui)
Published on Nov 16, 2021 09:01 PM IST
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ByDebabrata Mohanty

BHUBANESWAR: The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday conducted raids at 76 locations across 14 states and union territories in 23 cases allegedly involving online child porn. Many of the targets of these raids were members of WhatsApp groups that circulated child sexual exploitation material.

In all, the first information reports (FIR) registered by CBI over the last few days named 83 individuals along with their phone numbers and addresses who were known to have circulated or downloaded child porn, mostly on their phones.

There was no formal statement by CBI on the outcome of the raids. But there was one raid in Odisha’s Dhenkanal district that clearly did not go according to the agency’s script.

This team of CBI officials turned up at Colony Sahi house of 25-year-old Surendra Nayak in Dhenkanal town early on Tuesday morning.

A CBI official who was part of the team said Nayak was alleged to be part of a WhatsApp group, “Desi MMS”, that was used by members to circulate pornographic material including child porn. An initial inquiry by CBI led officials to believe that he also received US $ 21 for circulating child sexual exploitation material.

But as soon as word spread about the raid, the team found themselves surrounded by the womenfolk of the area, many of them armed with wooden sticks.

“As we seized Nayak’s mobile phone, we suddenly came under attack from the women. We were first locked in a room and then dragged out by the women with many of them beating us up with the wooden planks,” the official said, requesting anonymity.

The CBI team was finally rescued by police personnel from the Dhenkanal town police station after senior police officers received SOS messages from CBI.

Senior CBI officials in Odisha capital Bhubaneswar declined to comment on the incident.

Dhenkanal superintendent of police K Siva Subramani, however, confirmed the attack.

“The CBI team had not informed us before the raid…. We managed to get them out the place,” the district SP said.

Nayak

The CBI team later summoned Nayak to the police station where he allegedly told the team that he joined the WhatsApp group two months ago and did share pornographic material with others in the group.

A little over 100km away, another CBI team raided auto driver Manoj Das in Binayakpur village under Agarpada police station of Bhadrak district. Das has been accused of circulating explicit videos of minors on his mobile phone. A third CBI team questioned Anil Majhi of Keutanguan village in Jajpur district over similar allegations.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022