MAYILADUTHURAI: Three youth were booked under provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act on Wednesday for allegedly forcing a minor to consume alcohol.
They are also alleged to have filmed him drinking and used the video to blackmail the child for cash and jewellery.
According to police, the victim, a Class 10 student, had recently befriended a group of young men. The boy's father, aged 55, who works near Tharangambadi, alleged that the youth “pressurised” him to smoke and consume alcohol, filmed him, and blackmailed him into giving them gold, cash, and an iPhone.
"The case has been booked against three suspects-M Sameer (27), M Ashok (27) and E Alvin Samuel (26)- who are currently absconding. Investigations are underway to nab the criminals," said SP of Mayiladuthurai N Shreenatha.
The suspects were booked under IPC Section 506 (1) for criminal intimidation and Section 77 of the Juvenile Justice Act (giving intoxicating liquor or narcotic drug, or psychotropic substance to a child). The action came a week after the child's father approached the SP on April 22.
"We came to know about the incident after the valuables went missing from the house," the father told The New Indian Express.
The boy had told his parents what had happened, after which his father confronted the youth, who later returned Rs 15,000 in cash and the iPhone. They are learnt to have sold the jewellery.
The anguished father had first approached Poraiyar Police Station to lodge a complaint but he alleged that no action was taken initially and there was 'pressure' from traders to not lodge a complaint.
"Even now, there is propaganda by some people targeting our family," he claimed.