KOLLAM: The main accused in the abduction of a minor girl in Oachira Muhammed Roshan was remanded in custody by the Magistrate Court in Karunagapally on Friday. The Oachira police collected his statement about the crime he carried out and the places he travelled with the abducted girl before being arrested on March 26 from Panvel.
The charges against him are likely to get stronger after a medical test on the girl found she was subjected to sexual abuse. Roshan along with three other members of the gang involved in the crime are charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The victim has been lodged at a children’s home under the child welfare committee after being produced before a court in Karunagapally. The girl had refused to return to her family upon reaching here. She had reportedly given a statement she eloped with Roshan as they were in a relationship. Her statement was taken in the presence of the Child Welfare Committee and the District Child Protection Unit. She was given counselling before undergoing medical tests.
Muhammad Roshan, 21, of Kannitta, Memana South, in Oachira, Ananthu, 20, of Payikkuzhi, Bipin, 20, of Changankulangara, and Pyari, 19, of Payikkuzhi are the accused in the case. The four-member gang abducted the girl belonging to a nomadic family from Rajasthan after assaulting her parents on the night of March 18 from their shanty in Oachira.The girl and her abductor were brought to their hometown on Thursday afternoon, 11 days after the incident. A police team from Oachira found them at Panvel in Mumbai the other day and they were brought by car.
The police now plan to verify the original age of the girl as the documents submitted by her parents lack clarity. A copy of the transfer certificate issued by the girl’s school at Rampura in Rajasthan shows her date of birth as September 17, 2001.“As per the record, she is 17 years and six months old. We need to verify the certificate by matching it with the original from the school in Rajasthan,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police in Karunagapally Arun Raj, who is heading the investigation. According to him, a team will be sent to the school. The police are also exploring the option of medical verification of age. Meanwhile, the family of Roshan said the girl was not a minor and accused her family of producing a false document.
The Rajasthani family has been living in Oachira 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 siblings. The girl’s father alleged they faced threats from the youths before and the police did not help them. He said the family planned to return to their native place once the girl returned to their fold.
Roshan is the son of a local CPI leader Prem Navas. The delay in arresting him had snowballed into a political controversy. The Congress and the BJP accused the government of protecting the accused and they staged a protest march towards the police station last week.
Accused had abducted girl on March 18
Muhammed Roshan, 21, of Kannitta, Oachira; Ananthu, 20, of Payikkuzhi; Bipin, 20, of Changankulangara, and Pyari, 19, of Payikkuzhi are the accused in the case. The gang had abducted the girl after assaulting her parents on the night of March 18.