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Vikash Sharma

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday arrested Surendra Nayak, a youth from Dhenkanal district for his alleged links with a pan-India racket involved in circulating, storing and viewing Child Sexual Exploitation Material (CSEM) through various social media platforms and groups on social media.

CBI officials said that Nayak has been arrested for sharing and circulating pornographic content on various social media platforms for monetary gains. Nayak’s arrest comes a day after a CBI team, which had gone to the former’s residence at Colony Sahi in Dhenkanal for questioning in connection with the nation-wide crackdown, came under attacked by neighbours who were allegedly irked by the protracted grilling session.

The CBI team had gone to Nayak’s residence as part of the simultaneous raids undertaken at different locations across 14 states including Odisha. The CBI has registered 23 separate cases against 83 people on charges of online child sexual abuse and exploitation.

Several electronic gadgets, mobiles, laptops etc were seized during the raids. It is revealed that some individuals were involved in trading of CSEM material, the CBI said.

As per the initial information, there are more than 50 groups having more than 5000 offenders sharing child sexual abuse material. Many of these groups also have the involvement of foreign nationals. It is learnt that there could be the involvement of nationals of around 100 countries spread across various continents.

Terming it as a social evil, former Odisha top cop, Sanjeev Marik said, "Though we have laws like POCSO for this, our State is yet to see any exemplary punishment being handed to any of the child abusers. The government and the enforcement agencies need to take it on a mission mode to ensure that such incidents never happen again." 

Speaking to reporters, the Chairperson of Odisha State Commission For Protection Of Child Rights (OSCPCR), Sandhyabati Pradhan said, "I will discuss the matter with the CBI to ensure stringent punishment for the accused. I will also make sure that such type of incidents do not occure in Odisha again." 

On Tuesday, Nayak had admitted to have created a group where he used to share links of adult contents. The links were shared on mobile phones and other social media platforms from where he used to make money.

“It was only two months that I joined the group after coming across a link on the internet. I was only sharing the links of adult contents from one website to other sites and groups. I had received 21 USD (Rs 2000 approximately),” Nayak told reporters yesterday.

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