The girl was reportedly forced into sex work by her aunt and family.

Chennai police inspector C Pugalendhi in his uniform holding down his face mask with his left hand looking at the camera
news Crime Tuesday, November 24, 2020 - 09:56

Chennai police arrested a police inspector on Monday for allegedly sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl. The arrested policeman, C Pugalendhi, is a part of the Law and Order wing at Ennore. According to reports, Pugalendhi was arrested based on the statement of a woman who was arrested earlier for forcing the survivor into sex-trafficking. The ordeal came to light after the girl confessed about this to her mother, who had come to meet her in her aunt Shahitha Banu’s house in Chennai after two months.

The mother approached the All Women’s police station in Washermanpet and lodged a complaint, after which the police began their investigation. Based on the investigation, the police arrested Madhankumar, his wife Shahitha Banu, his mother Selvi, Maheshwari, Sandhya, Vijaya, Karthik and Vanitha. During the probe, Sandhya told the police that she had sent the girl to one of their clients Rajendran (44), where Pugalendhi met the girl and sexually assaulted her. It was also revealed that the survivor was also sexually assaulted by Madhankumar before being forced into sex work. 

With the help of the survivor, the police also arrested Rajendran and he was also booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act along with Pugalendhi. Rajendran revealed that Pugalendhi had chosen to sexually assault the minor in exchange for not reporting the crime. Six others were also arrested for working as agents and soliciting ‘clients’ and remanded to judicial custody. A special team has been put in place to probe further into the matter. 

Pugalendhi was remanded to judicial custody and sent to Puzhal prison. The Chennai police also suspended him from service. As per reports, the investigating team is also considering taking Pugalendhi into police custody for questioning, as there are several other allegations against him including bribery and holding kangaroo court in the police station. 

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