The Trichy police have filed an FIR against Dharmaraju, a 65-year-old correspondent of a school, for sexually assaulting minor girls at a hostel which is affiliated to the school. According to the police, the incident came to light when the parents of one of the girls living in the hostel filed a complaint with the Lalgudi All Womens’ Police Station in Trichy district.
Speaking to TNM, a police officer in the station said that on February 27, the girl called her mother and told that Dharmaraju had sexually assaulted her.
“The parents, who were shocked to hear this, had come to the hostel to meet their daughter in person. However, since the girl had gone to school by then, they couldn’t meet her. Then they came here and filed an official complaint against the correspondent,” she said.
Dharmaraju has been in charge of the hostel for the past 10-15 years, the police said. “We went to the hostel and conducted an inquiry with the children there. Four other girls, aged between 10 and 14, also spoke up at that time, saying that Dharmaraju had behaved in a similar manner with them as well. Based on this, we registered an FIR against him the same day,” she said.
Dharmaraju absconded and the police could not arrest him immediately. On March 1, he surrendered in the Musiri court and the police took him into custody. He complained of chest pain and was taken to a hospital by the police. “He has been admitted at the hospital since that day. Once he is discharged, we will proceed with the formalities and inquiry in this case,” the officer said.
An FIR was registered against Dharmaraju under Sections 9 (l) [sexual assault on a child more than once], 9 (d) [sexual assault on a child in a home by the staff or member of management of such home] and 10 [Punishment for aggravated sexual assault] of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.