The Chennai police on Monday arrested a sawmill owner under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act for sexually assaulting a minor girl. The victim, a 13-year-old, is the daughter of a bonded labourer couple who were working for the accused.
48-year-old Jayapaul, who is the accused, would lure the child to his guest house on the pretext of housework, to confine and sexually assault her. The young girl and her parents had been toiling round the clock for months at Jayapaulâ€™s mill for a meagre salary.
Speaking about the sexual assault, an officer was quoted by The New Indian Express as saying, â€śThe labourers worked at the saw mill situated off East Coast Road and the owner would take the victim to his house which is situated in another place on the pretext of doing house work. He then took the girl to the guest house where he sexually assaulted her and threatened her not to tell anybody.â€ť
According to the report in Times of India, the incident came to light during a medical examination conducted on a group of bonded labourers who were rescued from a godown near Kundrukadu village in Kovalam off the East Coast Road last week. Kelambakkam police registered a case and arrested the owner under the Bonded Labourers Act.
Tipped off by an NGO, a team of Kancheepuram revenue officials headed by (RDO) Muthu Vadivel and the police raided a timber godown from where 31 labourers were rescued, including seven women, seven men and 17 children, out of which 6 were girls.
Now, based on the medical report and a complaint from the girlâ€™s parents, a case under the POCSO Act has been registered by the police. Jayapaul was produced before a magistrate court in Thirukazhukundram that sent him to jail. The police are also investigating if he has sexually assaulted other women.