A special POCSO court here on Wednesday recorded the statements of six children in connection with a case, being investigated by the CBI, of alleged sexual exploitation of minors by a government engineer and his wife. The CBI had arrested the couple for allegedly exploiting children sexually and selling videos of the acts to paedophiles across the globe on the internet for the last 10 years.
The probe agency had earlier got statements of 17 children recorded in the special court designated for cases under the purview of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. statements of total 23 minors had been recorded in connection with the case. Government counsel Manoj Dixit said the CBI got the statements of the children recorded in the court of Civil Judge Anuja Singh, and added that the statements of more children could be recorded by the agency. The Uttar Pradesh Irrigation Department's junior engineer Ram Bhavan was arrested on November 16 last year following which he was also suspended. His wife Durgawati was arrested on December 28. The arrests were made by a dedicated unit of the CBI specialising in probes into cases of online sexual abuse and exploitation of children.
The arrested junior engineer, a resident of Chitrakoot district in UP, is alleged to have victimised about 50 minors in the age group of 5 to 16 years in Chitrakoot, Banda and Hamirpur districts of the state. During searches, the CBI had recovered eight mobile phones, around Rs eight lakh cash, sex toys, laptops and other digital evidence carrying a huge amount of child sexual abuse material, agency officials had said earlier.
The junior engineer had allegedly been indulging in the crime for the last 10 years, mainly by contacting and sharing the sexual abuse material with other paedophiles globally using the darknet and cloud services abroad, they said. He is also alleged to have told investigators that he used to bribe children with mobile phones and other electronic gadgets so that they wouldn't tell anyone about his activities.