Lt. Col. Jagmohan Balbir Singh was arrested by the Cyber Cell of the Crime Branch police here on Thursday on the charge of uploading sexually explicit images and clips of children on child pornography websites.
Lt. Col. Singh, 42, was produced before a court on Friday and remanded to police custody till May 12.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy told reporters that Lt. Col. Singh was charged under Section 67 B (punishment for publishing or transmitting of material depicting children in sexually explicit act, etc. in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act.
“We had information from international agencies of the possibility of a child pornography suspect in India and in Mumbai. Our Cyber Cell started the investigation and arrested him [Lt. Col Singh] after due verification. On questioning, he admitted to having committed the offence. He has been doing it for a few years. The more serious offence is uploading pornographic images and clips of children on some well-known child pornographic sites,” he said.
It was the German police who first spotted the activity from Mumbai on a server located in the United States. They sent a report to the Interpol, which in turn forwarded it to the CBI Delhi, and subsequently to the Mumbai Crime Branch. The Cyber Cell tracked the server activity to the Internet Protocol (IP) address of Lt. Col Singh.
“We believe a similar offence has been registered against Lt. Col Singh in Germany,” Mr. Roy said.
The police picked up Lt. Col. Singh from his residence at Colaba, where the officer lives with his family. They also seized two hard disks of 80 GB each. “We have found a lot of incriminating evidence. Hundreds of photos and clips were found,” Mr. Roy said.
The officer would be questioned about the source of the material he uploaded; if he had distributed it to others and if there were any accomplices.
“We will explore the possibility of him having made the clips. We have to see if he visited any paid sites. We have the names of the websites. The images [recovered] are of Indian as well as foreign children. Their ages range from three to 10,” Mr. Roy said.
The police have informed the Army about the arrest and would submit a written report to the Army and the CBI.
Defence Public Relations Officer (PRO) Captain Manohar Nambiar told TheHindu over phone: “Lt. Col. Jagmohan Singh, a serving officer, was on study leave since June 2009. He was residing in a civil area. Details of his arrest are being ascertained by the Army in consultation with the police. The Army has applied for bail. Once the bail is through, the Army authorities would be investigating the case for necessary action to be initiated. [Lt. Col Singh] will be in service during the course of the investigation.”
Advocate Dilip Pagve, representing Lt. Col Singh before the court on Friday said in his argument against police custody that there was no question of Lt. Col. Singh absconding as that would set the court martial proceedings in process.
Lt. Col. Singh is working in the Supply and Transport department, Maharashtra and Gujarat sub-area, which falls under the Southern Command. He hails from Mohali, Punjab, Mr. Roy said.