CHENNAI: In a shocking turn of events, Ennore police inspector C Pugazhendi was arrested on Monday for raping a 13-year-old girl several times.
The cop, who has been suspended, allegedly knew the child had been pushed into prostitution but chose to sexually assault her as a ‘customer’ in exchange for not reporting the crime.
Pugazhendi was arrested after the Crime Against Women and Children wing of the city police was convinced there was prima facie evidence against him. The cop’s alleged complicity and sexual assaults of the child were first revealed by one Rajendran, a BJP functionary arrested in the case.
According to police, Rajendran, during police interrogation, confessed that it was not just him but also Pugazhendi who had sexually assaulted the child in September and several times since.
"The inspector was one of the customers who sexually assaulted the girl in exchange for not reporting the crime," said a police officer. The case, which has helped the police bust several prostitution rackets in the city, came to light after the child’s mother raised the alarm.
The child had dropped out of school after Class 5 and was helping her single mother. After the child attained puberty, the mother, believing their neighborhood unsafe for the girl, sent her to the home of her 22-year-old niece in North Chennai. The niece, her boyfriend, and several others are alleged to have pushed the child into prostitution, letting eight to 10 men rape her daily. After the niece, for months, refused to let the child go home to her mother, the mother grew suspicious.
Following a complaint from the mother, on November 11 the Chennai police arrested eight people, including six women, for forcing the child into prostitution for several months. In subsequent investigations, police arrested seven more persons, including Rajendran, who were pimps and involved in forcing the girl into prostitution.