reported the highest number of child pornography cases in the country in 2019 for the second consecutive year, according to the latest statistics released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on Wednesday.
While Odisha registered 542 child pornography cases (use of child for pornography/storing child pornographic materials under Section 14 and 15 of the POCSO Act) in 2019, Bihar stood second with 164 cases.
In 2018, Odisha had registered 333 child pornography cases, the highest in the country. Incidentally, the state was at the seventh position in 2017 for reporting only eight child pornography cases.
said most child pornography cases surfaced following breach of trust or a strained relationship between the accused and victims. In almost all the cases, the accused and the victims were close acquaintances.
“After developing intimate relationship with the girls, the accused would cheat them. The accused would click obscene photos of the victims and circulate pornographic material on social media,” S K Swain, a retired deputy superintendent of police, said.
Police and child rights activists cite
for the alarming trend. “We cannot tell why other states witnessed less number of cases than Odisha. One possible reason could be that we did not suppress the complaints and registered cases immediately after receiving the complaints. Almost all the cases were solved and the accused put behind bars,” a senior police officer said.
Child rights activist Anuradha Mohanty blamed it on the unchecked use of internet and social media by children. “The offence cannot be prevented by police as it is more of a social and familial issue than a law and order problem. Parents and family members have bigger roles to play in preventing this. Social media has its disadvantages. If parents are allowing their children to use internet and social media platforms, they should also ensure that the children do not befriend strangers or watch objectionable content,” Mohanty said.
She added that many cases might have gone unreported. “We saw some cases where parents were reluctant to lodge complaints with the police apprehending loss of face in the society. If such cases were reported to the police, other parents would be more careful,” Mohanty said.