KOLLAM: The 14-year old Ochira girl who was abducted by a youth was found along with him at a slum in Mumbai suburbs, nine days after the incident. A special team of Kerala police found the girl and the main accused, Muhammed Roshan, from Panvel on Tuesday morning. They will be brought to Ochira on Tuesday evening and will be produced before the court.
The team has traced the call made by relative of one of the accused to reach the slum on Sunday. Presence of a large Malayali presence in Panvel helped police as they tracked the accused with the help of Malayali association there, before making the arrest on Tuesday. According to police, the accused took the girl to Mangalore before going to Mumbai.
Roshan spoke to the media before being transported back to Kerala. He reportedly said that he and the girl eloped as her family had objected to their affair. He also said that the girl was of 18 years old.
However, the girl's age is 14 as per the records with the police and all the four accused in the case were booked under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Police had arrested the other three youths - Pyari, Ananthu and Bipin - and they have been remanded.
A four-member gang led by Roshan abducted the 14-year old girl of a nomadic family from Rajasthan after assaulting her parents on March 18 night from Ochira.
The kidnappers abandoned the car used for crime at Kayamkulam. A police team went to Ernakulam based on mobile tower location of one of the accused. But the gang gave them the slip.
Later a team was sent to Bengaluru based on the leads but they could not find the girl. Another team was sent to Rajasthan which is the native place of the girl. But a phone call from the relative did help the police in tracing the accused.
The family has been living in Ochira for the past two years, selling plaster-of-Paris figurines on the side of National Highway-66. The girl abducted is the eldest of seven children the couple has. The girl’s father alleged they faced threats from the youths before and police did not help them. He said that the family planned to return to their native place once the girl return.
Roshan is the son of a local CPI leader Navas. The delay in arresting him had snowballed into a political controversy. The Congress and BJP accused the government of protecting the accused and they staged protest march towards police station last week. Kerala women's commission and Kerala State Human Rights Commission have taken a suo-moto case on the issue and sought reports from police.