In a painstaking and meticulous 'Operation Megh Chakra', the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday conducted national wide searches at around 59 locations in 21 states including union territories in two cases related to downloading/circulation of CSAM (Child Sexual Abuse Material) which led to the recovery of 50 laptops having pornographic materials.

The raids were conducted at Fatehabad (Haryana), Dehradun (Uttarakhand), Kachh (Gujarat), Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh), Murshidabad (West Bengal), Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Thane, Nanded, Solapur, Kolahpur and Nagpur (Maharashtra), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Chittoor (Andhra Pradesh), Krishna (Andhra Pradesh), Ram Nagar (Karnataka), Kolar (Karnataka), Faridabad (Haryana), Hathras (Uttar Pradesh), Bengaluru, Kodagu (Karnataka), Raipur (Chhattisgarh), and Delhi.

The CBI has registered two cases under relevant provisions of IT Act based on an information received from Crime Against Children (CAC), unit of Interpol, Singapore which had received the same from New Zealand police for sharing with relevant country.

A number of Indian citizens were involved in circulation, downloading, transmission of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) using cloud-based storage.

The said information received in Interpol from Law enforcement authorities of New Zealand was analysed and developed by the CBI, and suspected persons were identified to locate and disrupt further distribution.

"Today's crackdown was follow up of massive operation (Operation Carbon) carried out by the CBI last year against Online Child Sexual Abuse Material," the official said.

During searches, electronic devices including mobiles, laptops belonging to more than 50 suspects were recovered by the CBI.

Preliminary scrutiny of these electronic devices using cyber forensic tools has revealed the presence of huge quantity of CSAM (Child Sexual Abuse Material) in a number of electronic devices.

The suspects are being questioned with regard to the CSAM (Child Sexual Abuse Material) found in their electronic devices so as to identify the child victims and the abusers.

"Operation Megha Chakra is one of the CBI-led global operations in recent times for rapid response to online child sexual exploitation cases having international link. Coordination meetings were organised with Interpol and foreign law enforcement agencies for sharing critical information to dismantle such cybercrime networks," the official said.