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A special operation to target child pornography has led to the solving of 125 cases and the arrest of 40 people.

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh also said that the new Disha laws to stop harassment of women will be tweaked to include stipulations that target paedophiles who create, distribute or consume child pornography. He was replying to a question on the issue raised by the Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis today in the state legislative assembly.

"Maharashtra is now number one in targeting Child Pornography," Deshmukh told the House and added, "From December, 18, 2019 alone 125 such cases have been cracked leading to the arrest of 40 offenders." This was done under 'Operation Blackface.

'He informed how the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has appointed a nodal officer in each state. In Maharashtra this is DGP (Maharashtra Cyber). "The relentless hard work of the Maharashtra Cyber team has led to the state leading in action against child pornographers," the Home Minister said.

The US-based NGO - National Centre For Missing & Exploited Children which keeps an eye on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc to track ISP addresses of child pornographers shares the same with NCRB. The Bureau then liaises with the nodal officer for further action. "Such focused action with detailed coordination at the international, national and state level has led to our successfully cracking down on child pornographers," he averred.

Between July and November 2019, information about 1,680 child porn clips was made available to Maharashtra Cyber. This information was then centrally sent across to the 10 police commissionerates and all the 29 district police chiefs to undertake 'Operation Blackface.' All the 40 arrested have been charged under IPC Section. 292, POSCO and the IT Act.While Maharashtra has emerged number one, Karnataka has emerged number two in acting against child pornographers.

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