THOOTHUKUDI: A 14-year-old disabled sexual assault survivor and her mother attempted self-immolation at Thoothukudi collectorate campus on Monday fearing the assailant might be released on bail.
The child’s mother alleged that some villagers are trying to bail out the accused, R Ayyappan who has been booked by the Vilathikulam All Women Police, as his brother is a police constable.
According to sources, the child and her mother, who hail from a village near Vilathikulam, attempted self-immolation by pouring kerosene on themselves at the entrance of the collectorate. However, onlookers and police stopped them before they could set themselves afire.
Later, the child’s mother submitted a petition stating that the child was sexually assaulted on December 14 when she and her husband were away. The accused ran off after her 11-year-old son raised an alarm, she said, adding that when the accused returned after 50 minutes he was chased away by the neighbours. Her son told her of the incident that evening, she said.
Following that she lodged a complaint with the Vilathikulam AWPS which registered an FIR against Ayyappan and imprisoned him on December 16.
The mother said she was driven to attempt suicide as the accused’s younger brother is a police constable and the vice president of the village was trying to secure bail for him. She urged the authorities not to release the accused on bail as her family is poor and his release would endanger their safety. She alleged that the accused’s relatives were attempting to erase evidence of his presence in the village at the time of the crime, and had issued death threats against her family. She appealed to the police not to release the accused on bail as it would endanger their safety at the village.