THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Statistics cannot be anymore shocking than this. As many as 24 cases of child sexual abuse were registered in the state on Thursday (till 3 pm) and that translates to almost two cases in one hour. In total, 52 child abuse cases were registered in the last three days. Wednesday contributed 13 cases and Tuesday, 15.
The data accessed by Express from State Police Chief Loknath Behera’s office is a pointer to the grim state of affairs vis-a-vis children’s safety.Up to May 17, around 800 child abuse cases were registered under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in the state. Of this, 288 were reported in the last 45 days. Last year, 2,697 POCSO cases were recorded across Kerala. If it continues, the number of POCSO cases is all likely to surpass last year’s tally.
Behera said the increase in number of police cases revealed the trust people have in police. However, he added it was not reflecting well on the image of the state.“The increase in number isn’t good for Kerala’s image. However, the increase it shows the faith people have in the police as well as the credibility of the department,” he said.
In the past one-and-a-half months, 49 POCSO cases were reported from Malappuram, which is the highest. Thiruvananthapuram logged 36 during the period and Kozhikode third with 32. Kasargod registered the least of all, seven.
Behera said a state like Kerala, which has got a rich tradition, surging ahead in POCSO-related crimes should be an eye-opener.Meanwhile, a police source said ever since the Edappal cinema hall incident came into light, the families of abuse victims have been coming forward to lodge complaints. “We view it as a positive development because people have started coming out in public. We are expecting more such cases in the coming days,” he added.