SIT detains key suspect in morphing porn case

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, DHNS: Police on Tuesday detained the key suspect in a case registered in Vadakara, in Kozhikode district, in connection with pornographic content made from morphed images of women, reports said on Wednesday.

Bibeesh, video editor at a studio in Vadakara, was taken into custody from Idukki, late on Tuesday.

The suspect had reportedly morphed images of women in wedding videos and used them in pornographic clips shared on social media. On Monday, a police Special Investigation Team (SIT) arrested two persons- Dinesan and Satheesan- who own the studio.

Satheesan is also a photographer. Protests by women in and around Vadakara continued claiming police inaction in tracing the key suspect.

A senior police official in Vadakara, without divulging details, told DH that the suspect was still being shifted to Vadakara and his arrest was not recorded.

Thousands of images were learnt to have been stored in a hard disk seized from the studio. Police registered a case in March after a woman filed a petition regarding morphed images of hers being shared on social media.

About 10 petitions have been filed in connection with the case. The Kerala State Women's Commission had also initiated action after several women complained about the misuse of their photographs.

Role of studio owners:

Some of the petitioners have claimed that the studio owners who were aware of Bibeesh's activities did not report misuse of the images.

Women's Cell Inspector Bhanumathi who heads the investigating team told DH that the studio owners' role in the case was still being probed.

Local action groups have maintained that since the suspect was employed in a studio assigned to cover many weddings in the region, he could have morphed thousands of images over the years.

Protests by women in Vadakara and neighbouring areas have also found support from citizen groups.

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