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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Army officer held in city for child porn


MUMBAI: A 42-year-old lieutenant colonel of the Indian Army was arrested by the cyber crime investigation cell (CCIC) of the Mumbai police on Thursday for allegedly posting obscene pictures of children on an international web site.

The accused, Jagmohan Balbir Singh, who worked in the supply and transport wing of the army, has been remanded in police custody till May 12. A commerce graduate, Singh joined the Indian Military Academy in 1989 as second lieutenant.

The investigation had its origin in Germany. While probing a complaint against minor's pornography in September, 2009, the German Federal Police found that the objectionable pictures were being uploaded from a computer the Internet Protocol (IP) address of which was in India. The German police alerted the Interpol, which through CBI, forwarded the case to the Mumbai police.

"We caught Singh downloading porn clippings red-handed as we entered Singh's government flat at Namdar Manzil in Colaba. Eeven as we questioned him at his home for four and a half hours, the downloading continued. We have also taken printouts of the pictures so that we can use it as evidence in court,'' said an officer.

The police claimed to have seized the hard disk of Singh's personal computer, which contained lots of pornographic material, as well as his two cellphones that also had objectionable clippings. The children in the clippings—as tagged in the title—fall in the age group of three to 15 years. Singh, who is not very tech-savvy, would commit this crime from his residence.

"Singh was acting difficult. To make him confess to the crime, the police asked if his two sons were involved in the uploading and downloading of obscene clippings. Sacred that his sons would be implicated, Singh admitted that he was responsible for the crime,'' said a source. During the interrogation, neither Singh's wife nor his two sons came in the room. Singh told the police that he would download obscene clippings from various sites and then upload them on a specific site.

From one of the two hard disks, the cyber police have got 157 obscene clippings (files) and porn movies. The police will now obtain the mirror image of the two hard disks before it is sent for cyber analysis.

Singh, who is attached with the Western Command of the army that covers Maharashtra and Gujarat, has been booked under Information Technology Act 2000. If convicted, Singh can be sentenced to a maximum seven years in jail and also fined
Rs 10 lakh.

Crime branch chief Himanshu Roy said, "He was not doing it for commercial purpose. We have secured his custody and will question him.'' The police are also scanning Singh's email account to check if he would send/receive such stuff to and from other persons.

Captain N Nambiar, chief public relation officer (Defence), said details were being ascertained from the police. "An application seeking his bail has been moved so that the case can be dealt with by the army authorities,'' Nambiar said.

Originally from Mohali in Chandigarh, Singh had joined the army as he was inspired by his father who was also in the military. He had been posted twice in Jammu and Kashmir and Bangalore and had also served in Ulfa-controlled areas in Assasm.

Singh told the police that he had been on leave since June 2009 to complete his study on Labour Law.

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