Kasaragod: In a shocking incident, seven people raped a 16-year-old girl. The seven rapists included the victim’s father, who is a madrassa teacher. The victim’s uncle lodged the complaint at Nileshwaram police station in Kasaragod of Kerala. Although the victim’s mother knew about the incident, she did not approach the police.
Kerala Police booked six youths in their early twenties for sexually abusing the girl and arrested three of them — Riyas (19), Ijaz (20) and Mohammed Ali (20). The police have charged the seven alleged perpetrators of the crime under the POCSO Act. Investigating officer PR Manoj said the girl was impregnated. She had to undergo an illegal abortion two months ago.
The victim in her statement to Kerala Police said that her father had been molesting and raping her for three years. The victim was raped at home and once she had to get a foetus aborted.
“The doctor who performed the abortion is also under investigation as he failed to report the crime,” said a senior police officer.
Manoj said the role of the mother is yet to be ascertained. The crime came to light after the girl’s maternal uncle found something amiss with her behaviour. She is now living in his house. The girl has given an in-camera statement* to the Hosdurg magistrate. “There may be more accused persons. We have only completed our preliminary investigation,” said Manoj.
‘In camera’ is a Latin phrase meaning “in chambers” (referring to the judge’s chambers). It means that the case will be heard in private and members of the public are not allowed to attend. Almost all family law cases are subject to this rule.
Sources said the girl’s relatives stood by her and encouraged her to approach the police against her father and other abusers. Manoj said the Child Welfare Committee would now take over the girl’s responsibility. Her house would be declared unsafe for children and she would be provided with counselling and support.
The investigating officer said the girl’s father was a repeat sexual offender and was accused of sexually assaulting four minor boys under the Bekal police station limits in 2017.
Though four cases were registered against him under the POCSO Act, he received bail as the legal proceedings dragged on in court. He is a native of Sulliya in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka and has another wife and five children there. He came to Kasaragod of Kerala to teach in the madrassa. After the alleged sexual assault in Bekal, he was sacked, said an officer.