COIMBATORE: After the postmortem examination of the seven-year-old girl found murdered in a village in Coimbatore on Tuesday morning revealed that she had been raped, the police have altered the case and included sections from the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Coimbatore rural police have secured five person from the same village for an inquiry.
It was on Tuesday morning that the body of the missing child was found abandoned in the narrow passage next to her house. Her limbs had been tied and she bore several injuries on her forehead and jaw. She is believed to have been abducted on her way home from school on Monday evening. However, it had been unclear if she had been sexually abused before her death.
The postmortem exam at the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (CMCH) confirmed that she had been raped. The case had initially been filed as ‘missing person’. It was then altered to include murder after the body was found on Tuesday. Now, after confirmation on sexual abuse, the case has been registered under sections 302 (Punishment for murder), 376(A) (Person committing an offence of rape and inflicting injury which causes death or causes the woman to be in a persistent vegetative state) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the sections of 5(l) (Commits penetrative sexual assault on the child more than once or repeatedly), 5(m) (commits penetrative sexual assault on a child below twelve years) of POCSO Act, said Inspector General of Police (West Zone) K Periaiah.
The case will now be transferred to All Women Police of Thudiyalur for further investigation, a senior official said.
The police have secured five persons from the village for an inquiry. “When the place (where the body was found) was searched on Monday night, there was nothing strange. However, the body was found at the same place on next day. It leads us to suspect that someone from the same locality had been involved. Hence, we have brought in five persons from the village for inquiry. Parents and relatives of the girl too suspect their involvement,” said the official. Meanwhile, though the postmortem exam was completed on Wednesday, the girl’s parents refused to collect her body. It was only after the police officials showed them pictures of the five persons brought in for interrogation that they relented to accepted the body.
On Wednesday morning too, as many as 200 people (including members of political parties) staged a road-roko on Mettupalayam road at Thudiyalur. They blocked the road for hours, demanding proper investigation into the crime. Traffic on the road was diverted through Appanaickenpalayam and Vadamadurai.
Demand for compensation
Functionaries of All India Democratic Women’s Association, along with the victim’s parents, petitioned Collector K Rajamani and sought compensation for the family. They also wanted the highest punishment to be given to the perpetrator(s). Stating that the police have been investigating the case properly, the Collector said that he too would urge them to take stringent action.
Need for notorious label
Evidence’s executive director A Kathir urged the government to declare western zone of Tamil Nadu as an area plagued by atrocity against women. He pointed out that the incident took place soon after the Pollachi sexual racket had come tolight. “We need to look at every harassment against women as a serious issue. The case should be investigated by the National Commission for Women. Also, the postmortem exam should have been videographed and sent to National Human Rights Commission,” said Kathir.