The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested a junior engineer working in the irrigation department of the Uttar Pradesh government for the alleged sexual abuse of children.
The accused allegedly victimized roughly 50 children over a period of 10 years, selling videos and photographs of them engaging in sexual acts to pedophiles over the dark web.
Here are more details.
According to NDTV, the accused has been identified as Rambhawan, a resident of Chitrakoot district. He was arrested from the neighboring Banda and will be produced before the concerned court on Tuesday.
Sources told the publication that the CBI will seek police custody of the accused as they suspect the involvement of others in the sexual exploitation network.
The accused allegedly targeted children in Chitrakoot, Banda, and Hamirpur, officials told PTI. The victimized children are aged 5-16 years.
He has reportedly told investigators that he would give children mobile phones and other electronic gadgets as bribes to keep them from speaking out about his activities.
He allegedly shared the child sexual abuse material (CSAM) nationally and internationally through the darknet.
The CBI recovered eight mobile phones, Rs. 8 lakh in cash, and sex toys, during raids conducted at the accused's residence. A laptop along with other digital evidence, including a large volume of CSAM has also been recovered.
According to data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 109 children were sexually abused daily in India in 2018. The figure was up by 22% compared to the previous year.
Crimes against children are reported to have risen over six times between 2008 (22,500 recorded cases) and 2018 (1,41,764).
Notably, Uttar Pradesh recorded the second-highest number of child rapes (2,023) in 2018.
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