PUDUCHERRY: The house of a witness who testified in the rape case of a minor girl, at Lingareddypalayam was torched in the early hours of Wednesday.
Police said the thatched house of Valli, wife of Namachivayam, at Periyatheru in Lingareddypalayam, was set on fire by unidentified persons. However, the flames were doused by fire tenders and none was injured in the incident. Valli’s house is close to the residence of the victim and it is suspected that the house was set on fire to intimidate her. Valli told reporters that the relatives of the accused, Arumugham, visited her house and requested her not to testify in the case. However, she had refused. Suspecting the incident to be an act of intimidation, she urged the police to ensure protection for her and others who testified as witnesses in the case.
The alleged rape happened over a month ago, but came to light only after the victim girl confided in her relative about it.
The Child Welfare Committee headed by chairperson Dr Vidyaa Ramkumar approached Inspector General of Police Praveer Ranjan, who ordered a probe into the case. The accused was arrested thereafter.
Meanwhile, police invoked Sections 363, 506 (2) of the IPC and Section 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012, along with existing sections, on the accused. The Inspector of Police, Thirukkanur Circle, prayed to the court that the alteration report be taken on file.
The Katterikuppam police had already booked Arumugham under Section 8 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. The victim’s mother in her complaint had stated that the accused had touched the private parts of the victim, thereby committing sexual assault on her daughter.
During the course of further investigation, the victim’s mother submitted a petition to the police in which she stated that Arumugham sexually assaulted the girl after forcibly taking her away on a motorcycle and threatening her with dire consequences.The statement of her mother and witnesses were recorded by a woman sub inspector in the presence of the Protection Officer.
The witnesses were examined and their statements recorded.