Dharmapuri rape: One arrested, probe officer removed from duty

One of the men accused of having raped the 16-year-old tribal girl who died on Saturday, five days after the assault, was reportedly detained on Sunday.

Published: 12th November 2018 02:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th November 2018 07:52 AM   |  A+A-

Rape

Image used for representational purpose.

Express News Service

DHARMAPURI: One of the men accused of having raped the 16-year-old tribal girl who died on Saturday, five days after the assault, was reportedly detained on Sunday.

Harur police sources revealed that Sathish (22) had been secured from Yercaud and was being questioned about the whereabouts of the other accused, Ramesh. 

Meanwhile, Dharmapuri collector S Malarvizhi, who visited the victim’s village of Sitting on Sunday where 2,000 members of the tribal community have been staging a protest since early Saturday, said that the investigating officer of Kottapati police has been removed from active duty and would be subjected to justice.

The victim’s family has alleged that Kottapatti police demanded a Rs 6000 in order to file an FIR in the case. The Collector said a separate investigation into lapses by the police would be led by Punniyakodi, Harur Revenue Divisional officer. She asked the police to book the accused, once apprehended, under Goondas Act as well. 

The victim’s family submitted a petition to the Collector alleging negligence and corruption on part of the police. The victim was allegedly raped by Satish and Ramesh last week while she was visiting her family for Deepavali. According to the family’s petition, police turned them away when they went to file a complaint. A relative of the victim told Express he had accompanied the family to a police station on the day of the incident at 5.30pm.

However, police made them wait for hours before even asking for their complaint, he said. Police allegedly told the family that as their village was too far, they would require Rs 4000 to file an FIR and Rs 2000 to cover their fuel expenditure to investigate, said persons close to the family. 

The main allegation in the family’s petition is that police refused to take their complaint but prepared a fresh complaint without their consent mentioning the crime as ‘attempted rape’. The family also alleged that the police failed to take the victim to the Harur government hospital for a medical examination but instead handed her to the Child Welfare Committee.

This is alleged to have led to her death on Saturday.

Aarani D Revathi, a former member of the Tamil Nadu Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said that police cannot file an FIR without the consent and presence of District Child Protection Officer. She said a medical examination must be performed on victims of sexual assault within 24 hours of the incident. However, these procedures had not been followed, according to the family’s petition. Saravanan, the District Child Protection officer, was not available for comment.

Malarvizhi held talks with the family and villagers. The family finally agreed to allow a postmortem. As the Collector said they would be allowed to use a doctor of their choosing to monitor the procedure, the family requested the presence of two doctors. A doctor from the CMC Vellore, who had volunteered, and a special forensic officer from Krishnagiri would conduct the postmortem, she said. 

She told Express that the administration would take steps to help the family attain justice, adding that the family would be compensated for the negligence on part of the authorities.

While the family had sought Rs 1 crore in compensation and aid to build a house, she said the administration would help with the latter and would forward the request for compensation to the State government. Harur DSP Chellapandian said three special teams had been formed to arrest the accused. 

Politicos offer support 

DHARMAPURI: Various political parties joined hands in demanding justice. Over 2,000 people from Malayali tribal’s staged a road-roko on Sunday night. Political parties including DMK, AIADMK, CPM, VCK offered support to the people of Sitting in their fight for justice.

Former MLA with CPM Dilli Babu, activist Piyush Manush,  State secretary of the SFI  Mariappan, State general secretary of the AIDWA Suganthi, VCK district (Dharmapuri) secretary Jeyanthi and district organiser Nandhan took part in the day-long protest

‘Pay Rs 25 lakh to kin’

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu government should pay Rs 25 lakh as solatium to the family, Anbumani Ramadoss, MP, said on Sunday. Conveying his condolences to the bereaved family, he said she could have been saved had proper treatment been given at the appropriate time. But, police did not take steps properly to save her. ‘Lethargic attitude’ of police is condemnable, he said. 



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