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Child porn charge follows corruption probe for Karnataka IAS officer

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Bangalore: “Thousands of child pornography videos” were discovered on a 250 GB external hard disk found during a Karnataka CID raid on August 5, 2015. The hard disk was found alongside the unaccounted wealth– Rs 4.37 crore in cash, 2.5 kg of gold and diamonds, and documents for dozens of properties– seized by the CID from a sixth floor apartment in the plush Golden Grand property in north Bengaluru. The flat is held in the name of PSK Finance Solutions Pvt Ltd, a firm run by 1990 batch Karnataka IAS officer Kapil Mohan’s father Naresh Mohan and son Ahaan Mohan.

The Lokayukta police, who are investigating the corruption charges against Mohan and his family have handed over the hard disk to the Bangalore police for filing an FIR under sections of the Information Technology Act that deal with child pornography.

“We have registered a case under section 67 B of the IT Act against the owners of the apartment where the material was seized,” the deputy commissioner of police (north) T R Suresh told Indian Express.

The pornographic material was suspected to belong to Mohan since the confiscated hard drive also contained photographs, marks cards and personal documents of the IAS officer. “The hard drive has been forensically examined and the material found on it includes marks cards, documents, pictures of the official and thousands of child porn videos,” sources involved in the investigation claimed.

“Possession of child pornography is an offence under section 67 B of the Information Technology Act. The amount of child pornography material found indicates the presence of a perverted mind. It needs further investigation,” said police sources.

Mohan, who is also the principal secretary in the youth empowerment and sports ministry of the Karnataka government, has claimed his non-involvement with the firms owned by his father and his son.

Upon investigation, it was discovered that companies like PSK Finance Solutions run by Mohan’s family existed only in name. Jaishiv Saxena, an associate of the IAS officer, was arrested by the Lokayukta police for falsely claiming the wealth seized at the Golden Garden flat. Saxena claimed that the money seized came from stake sales in an IT company. However, the Lokayukta investigations uncovered that the Rs 4.37 crore was withdrawn from different bank accounts.

The firms linked to Mohan and his family received huge loans from companies which were allotted contracts by the state-run Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd (KREDL) where Mohan was the managing director. Dishaa Power Corporation Pvt Ltd is a Bangalore firm which was awarded multiple small hydro projects around the state for generating 35 MW. Documents from KREDL and the RoC revealed that the promoters of this company deposited a total of Rs 1.75 crore with PSK Finance.

In March this year, PSK Finance Solutions, in March this year, allotted shares valued at Rs 1.25 crore to Gemini Shares and Stocks Private Limited. Dishaa Power Corporation director Naveen Patil was a director in these companies as well. PSK claimed that the shares were transferred against loans.

Apart from PSK Finance, Millenium Vinimay in Kolkata, run by Mohan’s father and son, also received large loans (Rs 5 crore) from firms such as Divyasree Infrastructure Projects. One of the Divyashree directors, Bhaskar N Raju, is also a share-holder in Dishaa Power Corporation where the majority of stake is held by a Hong Kong firm called Rainbow Energy Ltd.

(Inputs from Indian Express)

 

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Facebook Rolls Out Fact-Checking News In Karnataka

Facebook announces fact-checking news in the poll-bound Karnataka

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Facebook not ready for online payments. Pixabay

With Karnataka heading for the polls in May, Facebook has announced a third-party fact-checking programme in the state to fight spread of fake news on its platform.

The social media giant on Tuesday partnered with BOOM, an independent digital journalism initiative, for a pilot programme that will first roll out in the southern state.

Karnataka goes to election on May 12, and the counting of votes will take place on May 15.

Vote poll in Karnataka
Vote Poll. Pixabay

“Starting today, BOOM, certified through the International Fact-Checking Network, non-partisan international fact checking network at Poynter, will be able to review English language news stories flagged on Facebook, check facts, and rate their accuracy,” Facebook said in a blog post.

Facebook has 217 million monthly active users in India.

“We are beginning small and know it is important to learn from this test and listen to our community as we continue to update ways for people to understand what might be false news in their News Feed,” it added.

Once a story is rated as false, Facebook has learned to reduce its distribution by 80 per cent.

Also Read: Want To Know What Facebook, Google Know About You?

“When a fact-checker rates a story as false, we will show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution. This, in turn, stops the hoax from spreading and reduces the number of people who see it,” Facebook said.

Pages and domains that repeatedly share false news will also see their distribution reduced and their ability to monetise and advertise removed.

Facebook
Facebook. Pixabay

If the third-party fact-checkers write articles debunking a false news story, Facebook will show it in “Related Articles” immediately below the story in News Feed.

“We’ll also send people and Page Admins notifications if they try to share a story or have shared one in the past that’s been determined to be false,” Facebook noted.

According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, it is important to make sure no one interferes in any more elections, including in India.

Also Read: Facebook clarifies how it collects data when you’re logged out

“Our goals are to understand Facebook’s impact on upcoming elections — like Brazil, India, Mexico and the US midterms — and to inform our future product and policy decisions,” he said while testifying before the US Congress last week.

“The most important thing I care about right now is making sure no one interferes in the various 2018 elections around the world,” he told a panel of 44 Senators.

Zuckerberg said Facebook will ensure that its platform is not misused to influence elections in India and elsewhere.  IANS