The operation Megha Chakra launched by the Central Bureau of investigation on Saturday in 20 states and UTs. The searches are being conducted in 20 states and UTs as a crackdown on the circulation and sharing of child abuse material on the internet. The Operation is chosen because the Child Sexual Abuse Material was being circulated through the cloud space on the internet.
CBI launched operation Megha Chakra
To counter the illegal circulation of Child Sexual Abuse Material
Raids in 20 states and UTs
CBI searches are underway at 56 locations in 20 states and UTs including Telangana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, Delhi, Jharkhand, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, and Chhattisgarh.
The data shared by the Interpol unit of New Zealand through Singapore is the source on which raids are being conducted. Under this raid, CBI seized many electronic devices of various suspects including mobile phones, and laptops. It was found that a huge quantity of child pornography material was stored in these devices. Over 50 people are under the radar of CBI. The operation aims to collect information from various other law enforcement agencies nationally and globally and also coordinate with various Interpol channels.
A similar kind of operation was launched with the name Operation Carbon in November 2021. In this operation, 76 locations were raided in 13 states and UTs and more than 80 people were arrested.
What is Child Sexual Abuse Material?
Child Sexual Abuse Material includes all content that depicts sexual abuse content against a child. The content can be in any form videos, images, text, audio, etc. As per Section 2(da) of the POSCO Act, “child pornography” means any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a child which includes photograph, video, digital or computer-generated image indistinguishable from an actual child and image created, adapted, or modified, but appear to depict a child. The protection against these types of illegal activities is given under:
(i) POSCO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act: Section 11, 13, 14
(ii) Information Technology Act: Section 66E, 67
(iii) Indian Penal Code (IPC): Section 292, 354A, 354C
Punishable Offences under these acts:
(a) Browsing, searching, seeking, viewing or downloading Child Sexual Abuse Imagery
(b) Storing, storing for commercial purposes and collecting the same
(c) Advertising, distributing, sharing, transmitting, hosting Child Sexual Abuse Imagery.
(d) Engaging in sexual activity with a child on any media.
(e) Publishing or producing, taping, photographing, filming, or even recording Child Sexual Abuse Imagery.
(f) Using child or part of the body of a child for pornography or even threatening to use in a real or stimulated sex act or indecent/obscene gesture
(g) The knowledge of someone abusing children or watching, browsing, soliciting, downloading, and seeking Child Sexual Abuse Material and not reporting it to the police is also an offence.
(h) Even the suspect of someone of doing watching, browsing, soliciting, downloading, seeking Child Sexual Abuse Material or abusing the children and not reporting it to the police.
Viewing, browsing, storing, downloading, and showing pornography to a child can lead to 3 or 5 years of imprisonment. Usage of children for pornographic purposes is a non-bailable offence and the punishment depends on the degree of harm and can be between 6 years to life imprisonment.