Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Police had statewide raids for the past one week and have arrested 41 people from across the state after a request to ensure that the circulation and uploading of videos and pictures with child sex content are dealt with stringently. The huge crackdown against online child sex fugitives in Kerala is part of Operation P Hunt, who is charged with digitally spreading, keeping, viewing, and sharing child sexual abuse material.
“We decided to crack down on these criminals, many of whom worked in the IT field. Hence the Child Sexual Abusive Material (CCSE) team, under the Cyber dome which deals with cybersecurity, collected IP addresses of these users with specialized software. Users sharing such pictures on social media handles were also traced”, said Manoj Abraham IPS, ADGP [HQ] & Nodal Officer of Kerala Police Cyberdome.
Raids were executed on October 1st, 3rd, and 4th under the supervision of the District Superintendents of police led to the seizure of 280 devices. The police also recorded 269 cases under the Information Technology (IT) Act and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act post the raids. Among the gadgets seized were mobile phones, modems, hard disks, memory cards, laptops, computers, etc.
The state’s first list of child porn surfers came from Interpol through CBI in August 2011. A case against 25 people was enlisted based on the IP details of the devices used by the charged to browse the content. Cybersecurity expert and Data Security Council of India member Manu Zachariah said the magnified surveillance has resulted in search of such groups that are into the circulation of Child Sexual Abusive Material (CSAM).
The state-wide campaign has directed thousands of active viewers of CSAM in video formats and pictures from withdrawing many social media groups on WhatsApp and Telegram which were exclusively formed to spread the CSAM. However, they carried out that the monitoring process will continue in the days to come.
Details of the rest of the people involved in circulating images and videos are further being collected. Strong action will be taken against all such individuals involved in this racket, continuing our policy of zero tolerance in this matter, said a press release by the P-Hunt team.