Police have arrested seven persons for allegedly outraging the modesty and taking nude pictures of a minor girl in Kendrapara district.

Though the offenders threatened to make the pictures viral on social media platform, the victim mustered the courage to lodge FIR. The accused persons were nabbed and they confessed to the crime.

The arrested offenders- Uttam Biswas, Prasanjit Gayan, Bhagirathi Rout, Pramod Singh, Bachan Mohanty, Pranab Bala and Sambhu Bijuli- are in their mid-twenties and had committed the crime in the inebriated state last week.

The incident occurred at Pitapata village in Ramnagar gram panchayat under Mahakalpada police station jurisdiction.

Finding the victim girl alone on the village road, they dragged her towards a deserted spot of the village temple and molested her.

The molestation act was video-graphed by smartphones by the accused persons. They later threatened the victim to make the footage viral in social media, said Sub Divisional Police Officer, Rajib Lochan Panda.

The smartphones which were used for video graphing were seized. The arrested persons were booked under Indian Penal Code section 354 (outraging the modesty of woman), 292 (representation of person or any other object in obscene manner), 294 (obscene act), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt),506 (criminal intimidation), 509 (gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), and the protection of children from sexual offence act, 2012.

Later they were sent to jail with a local court dismissing their bail applications. Earlier on 12 March, two engineering students were put behind the bar by the district police for allegedly uploading private moments of a college girl in social media.

As directed by state police headquarters, the district police are maintaining zero tolerance in cases of obscene photos or videos going viral on social media, said police officials.