Autopsy report of Pathanamthitta 5-year-old confirms sexual abuse, stepdad arrested
The preliminary autopsy report of the five-year-old girl who died in Pathanamthitta on Monday revealed that she had been sexually abused and tortured. Following her death, the police arrested her stepfather, 23-year-old Alex, on Monday.
The five-year-old’s face and other body parts, including her private parts, showed injury and burn marks. Some of the injuries were days old and according to the accused’s statement to the police, he had been sexually abusing the child for months.
The post-mortem report from the Kottayam Medical College Hospital confirmed 60 injury marks on the child’s body, including burn marks and deep cuts with a knife.
The family, including the five-year-old, her mother, grandmother and the accused are natives of Tamil Nadu. They had been residing in a rented shed in Kumbazha, Pathanamthitta.
At 2:30 pm on Monday, the child’s mother, who works as a domestic worker, had returned to the house to find the five-year-old lifeless. The accused stepfather was allegedly lying next to her in an inebriated state. When she questioned the accused about the child, he turned violent and attempted to assault her too, according to the mother’s statement.
The mother then alerted the neighbours who took the child to a nearby clinic and from there to the Pathanamthitta General Hospital, where she was brought dead.
The cause of death, according to the autopsy report, is a contusion that the five-year-old suffered on her chest due to the torture from her stepfather.
Speaking to the media, a woman from the deceased’s neighbourhood in Kumbazha said that the child’s grandmother had informed her that the little girl had been hospitalised for six months after she was beaten up similarly, and that treatment had cost the family a lot of money.
The child’s mother’s statement too says that the accused used to regularly "torture" the five-year-old.
Accused tried to flee the police station
According to the police, Alex (23) is a native of Tamil Nadu residing in Kumbazha. He is allegedly an alcoholic, known to be a substance abuser and a dealer of marijuana and other drugs. He was allegedly not keen on staying in Kumbazha and wanted to go back to Tamil Nadu. Due to this, he used to reportedly pick fights frequently with the child’s mother, who did not wish to return to Tamil Nadu.
After being taken into custody on Monday, April 5, the accused fled from the police with his handcuffs on after the officers had taken him outside to use the toilet.
“He even turned violent and broke the glass of the police jeep. He was put in a lockup inside the station on April 5, from where he managed to escape once again. Finally the police, with the help of locals, caught him. He has now been remanded to judicial custody,” said a local source aware of the developments in the case.
The accused has been booked under section 302 (murder), section 5(6) of the POCSO (Protecion of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012) which deals with aggravated penetrative sexual assault and punishment for the same, and section 75 (punishment for cruely to child) of the Juvenile Justice Act, an officer from the Pathanamathitta police station confirmed.