Society
A man who had been in a live-in relationship with the girl's aunt has been arrested for the crime.

Days after a 7-year-old girl was raped and killed in Kerala's Kollam district, her family including mother, aunt and grandparents were allegedly forcefully evicted from their village by residents.

Villagers alleged that the tragic death of the child was owing to the family’s immoral activities, pointing out that the accused in the case was staying with the victim’s aunt without marrying her. Throwing the family out of the village, residents allegedly abused them stating that they were responsible for what happened to the child and warned them from returning to the village.

The victim’s mother was also allegedly not allowed to see the body of the child during the funeral.

The child’s mother told the media that villagers had allegedly threatened them and warned of assault if they returned.

“They allege that my sister is responsible for the child’s death. Everyone tried to attack my father. They did not allow me to see my child’s body. They asked our family to move from there, they said many men come to our house and they are scared about their girls. Both men and women abused us. We did not do anything. They also hit me, my mother and my father. It has been just five days since my child died. We couldn’t even stay there at least for the last rites. Police tried their best to protect us. If the police was not there, they would have killed us,” the mother told Mathrubhumi News.

On Friday, the women’s commission visited the family and offered a job to the child’s mother. However, villagers protested the move. 

Denying that they were expelled from the village, Station House Officer Gopakumar told TNM that the family shifted to a relative’s house in Kilimanoor for the time being. He also said that the police have given enough protection to the family.

“The accused Rajesh was living with the family and he was not legally married to the child’s aunt. That was why locals were angry. They will not have to stay for long in the other place. We will give them proper protection. People reacted out of sudden emotion. It was a shock for them to see a 7-year-old child in that state. The family obviously did not expect that the person would do this, so it is not their fault too. The family may have shifted because they were scared of the public anger,” the police officer said.

The girl's body was found dumped in a rubber estate on September 28 under the Kulathupuzha police station limits. The workers of the estate, who arrived at around 6 am, found the girl's body and informed the police. Rajesh, 38, had allegedly abducted the girl on Wednesday morning, in the pretext of taking the child to her tuition class.