THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At a time when crime against children is on the rise in the country, Kerala's record in Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) cases is not encouraging. Of the total 3,478 crimes reported against children last year, 1,101 fell under POCSO.
If the POCSO cases registered last year were a staggering 2,611, the first two months this year alone saw 459, according to the state police statistics.
Thiruvananthapuram Rural Police continued to top the number of cases registered --- 50 in the first two months this year and 280 in 2017. Malappuram district (46 and 219) was closely behind.
Kottayam and Kozhikode recorded 31 and 30 POCSO cases respectively in the first two months this year. In 2016, Malappuram had recorded the most POCSO cases (244) followed by Thiruvananthapuram Rural (188). Police sources said most of the accused were relatives or persons known to the victims. Shockingly, most children subjected to the crime were under the age of 12.
According to Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairman C J Antony, the rights of children were getting denied in the present social structure.
“Nowadays, children aren’t getting proper care from their parents owing to the social situations. This makes children lonely. We’ve learnt that children in the broken families are often becoming victims of crimes. So here the mindset of such perpetrators should be changed,” said Antony.
Speaking to Express, state police chief Loknath Behera said they were taking steps to ensure POCSO case victims get justice in quick time.
“We are concerned the conviction rate of the accused in the POCSO cases is low. So we recommend the government to ensure that POCSO courts in the state exclusively handle related cases. We will also recommend making POSCO courts fast-track courts so as to ensure justice for victims. We need to ensure day-to-day trial,” he said.
“A special committee led by IGP (crimes) S Sreejith was constituted earlier to study the POCSO cases registered in the state in the last few years. The study has been completed and it will be tabled next month for discussion. Hope a positive development comes soon,” he added.