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IIT boy cashes in on school sleaze

New Delhi/Calcutta, Dec. 14: First one of the country's premier schools got dragged into a sex-and-video scandal, now an Indian Institute of Technology finds itself harbouring a student who turned the smutty clip into a business model.

A student of IIT Kharagpur was arrested today by a Delhi police team for selling on the Internet a 2-minute-37-second clip of two students of Delhi Public School, R.K. Puram, engaged in a sexual act.

Twenty-three-year-old Ravi Raj, a resident of Hazaribagh, was held on the Kharagpur campus this evening after the police tracked him down after an elaborate chase, using the same technology that has been the ubiquitous player in the scandal that has shocked middle-class homes.

Last month, it came to light that a camera phone had shot two Class XI students of DPS R.K. Puram in a sexually explicit position. The multimedia message, or MMS, as these video clips are called, was being passed around and had made it to the Net.

Ravi Raj, a student of the five-year integrated MSc programme in exploration geophysics, scented a business possibility in the clip and offered it for sale at Rs 125 on baazee.com, India's largest online trading site.

Baazee, a part of the American ebay, had no knowledge because anyone can post almost anything for sale on its trading platform. It pulled Ravi Raj's offer from the site after reports that the clip was available there.

The IIT student, who is in the fourth year, having lost one year, had posted the offer under the fictitious name of Alice Electronics.

When Delhi police went to Mumbai and contacted Baazee officials they were told that Ravi Raj had earlier sold DVDs, DVD players and cameras using this company's name. Digging further, they found he had also sold pornographic material.

A Baazee spokesperson declined comment, saying the company is fully co-operating with the police.

Sources said the clip was offered for sale on November 27, around the time press reports appeared about the DPS incident. On November 29, Baazee was alerted by one of the users through a 'community watch' programme the company runs to keep an eye on inappropriate listings.

It was pulled out the same day, but by the time eight clips had been sold. Baazee has an allied site called paisapay.com where online payments are made. The police traced Ravi Raj through paisapay.com.

A Delhi police team reached the campus this afternoon and met the registrar. 'We gave the police the go-ahead as we thought he deserved arrest,' said S. K. Dube, the director of IIT Kharagpur.

'We have a system to stop students from accessing certain sleaze sites. We have also stressed repeatedly that Internet should be used for academic purposes only. Despite all our efforts, this incident happened. It is shocking,' Dube added.

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