"The accused were involved in the sexual abuse of children"
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officers have arrested an Indian engineer for allegedly sexually abusing 50 children.
The suspect has been identified as Ram Bhawan Singh, a junior engineer from the district of Chitrakoot, Uttar Pradesh.
He is accused of sexually abusing 50 children between the ages of five and 16 over a period of 10 years.
The arrest was made by the CBI’s Online Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention/ Investigation (OCSAE), a unit that deals with matters related to online child sexual abuse and exploitation.
CBI spokesperson RK Gaur said: “Investigation is still underway and as of now, no major development has been reported.”
Singh was arrested on November 17, 2020, after an anonymous whistle-blower handed CBI officials a memory stick which contained over 30 videos, 600 images, phone numbers and email addresses.
The email addresses were used to post the indecent footage onto the dark web.
Although Singh was arrested, the CBI has also added “others” to the FIR as they suspect that Singh was not working alone.
In a statement, the CBI said: “The accused were involved in the sexual abuse of children in the districts of Banda, Chitrakoot and the surrounding areas in Uttar Pradesh.
“Apart from the physical abuse of these children, the accused also allegedly recorded their acts using their mobile phones, laptops and other electronic devices.
“It was further alleged that these photographs and video films containing child sexual abuse material were published/transmitted by the accused using the facility of internet.
“It was also alleged that the accused used the dark web for sale, transmission and sharing of such CSAM content with other individuals.”
CBI officials raided Singh’s home and seized Rs. 8 Lakh (£8,100).
They also recovered mobile phones, laptops, a web-cam, memory cards and several sex toys.
The statement continued:
“The accused allegedly used these electronic items and gadgets to lure children falling in the age group of 5-16 years.”
“Scrutiny of the emails of the accused has revealed that he was allegedly in constant touch with several individuals (both Indian and foreign nationals) for the purpose of sharing child sexual abuse material.
“The accused has allegedly created and shared a huge quantity of child sexual abuse material, over the years, through the internet using various social media platforms and websites over darknet etc.”
It was reported that eight officials had been in Chitrakoot since November 2 and were frequently questioning the Indian engineer and his driver.
Superintendent of Police Ankit Mittal said: “The CBI was investigating the matter and they tracked him. We were not aware of the matter.”
Following his arrest, Singh was charged under the Information Technology Act, Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Act and Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and is currently in Banda jail.
On November 19, 2020, additional district and sessions judge Rizwan Ahmad arranged a hearing for November 24. He ordered the Indian engineer to remain in custody until November 30.
Objections had been raised by defence counsel Anurag Singh Chandel which led to a deferral.
As a result of his arrest, the Irrigation Department of Uttar Pradesh suspended Singh with immediate effect for immorality.