NEW DELHI, May 7: Delhi Police's Cyber cell has arrested the admin of the Instagram group which was being used to share obscene messages and morphed pictures of underage girls on the social media site, officials said on Wednesday.
Police said the 18-year-old admin of the group, known as "Bois Locker Room", appeared for his class 12 board examinations this year.
He is a student of a school in Delhi-NCR. Four group members, who all are majors, above 18 years, have joined the probe on Wednesday, a senior police official said.
The admin created the group in first week of April and added his friends and their acquaintances from other schools and neighbourhood, which is how the group expanded, he said.
The name of the arrested person has not been disclosed by the police as they said it could lead to identification of other group members, who are mostly minors.
Investigations so far has revealed that at least 27 members were part of the group and they deactivated it soon after screenshots of their chat came to light, the police official said.
The 15-year-old juvenile, who was apprehended in connection with case on Monday, was an active member and shared photographs of girls in the group. During questioning, he said he was added to the group by one of his friends, the official said.
Since Tuesday, at least 15 members of the group have been questioned so far.
The juveniles, who are part of the group, are being quizzed at their home in the presence of their parents and members of NGOs.
So far, the identified members were found to be using their own cell phone for the purpose and if any other device comes to notice during the course of investigation, it will be seized for verification, police said.
The devices used to engage in the "offensive and vulgar communication" have been seized from the group members, police said, adding that students from at least four-five schools were found to be involved.
"The CyPAD unit has sought information about the alleged group and it's members from Instagram. Their reply is awaited. The devices of the identified members of the group have been seized and sent for forensic analysis," said Anil Mittal, Additional PRO of Delhi Police.
The role of other group members is also being ascertained, he said.
The identified members, who are major, are being examined. The minor members of the group are being dealt with as per the provisions of Juvenile Justice Act, police officials said.
The apprehended juvenile has not been presented before the Juvenile Justice Board so far as the courts are closed due to lockdown imposed to control the spread of COVID-19.
Notices have been issued to all the identified members of the group to join the probe, they said.
Police said they are still verifying if the sole motive of creating the alleged group was to share such obscene messages and morphed photographs of underage girls or it was created just like a normal group but later sharing of thee messages and pictures started.
Instagram had earlier said it takes the issue "very seriously" and does not allow such behaviour. It had said the objectionable content featuring minor girls was removed from the platform as soon as it was made aware of it.
The Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) had issued a notice to Instagram and Delhi Police, taking cognizance of the matter.
Some of those involved are from reputed schools in the national capital, police said. Information about the group came to light after a girl shared screenshots of its activities, following which it started being called out on social media.
The police said during social media monitoring, it was noticed that the group was being used by the participants to share obscene messages and morphed pictures.
A case under relevant sections of IT Act and IPC was registered on Monday, officials said.
Further action will be taken on the basis of material evidence that is gathered in the course of the investigation, they added. - PTI