A cinema theatre owner who had informed Childline about a case of child sexual abuse was arrested by the police citing flimsy reasons.

Child sexual abuse in Kerala theatre DySP transferred case handed over to Crime branch
news Child Abuse Wednesday, June 06, 2018 - 16:19

It was a move by the Kerala police that had shocked people in the state. A cinema theatre owner who had informed Childline about a case of child sexual abuse was arrested by the police citing flimsy reasons.

Following the outrage, the Deputy Superintendent (DySp) of Police who sanctioned the arrest of Satheesh, the owner of the Edappal cinema theatre in Malappuram where a 10-year-old girl was sexually abused on April 18, has been transferred.

Reports say that the Malappuram District Crime Records Bureau DySP Shaju Varghese has been transferred to the police headquarters.

The transfer order has been issued after considering a report submitted by Thrissur range Inspector General of Police, which says that DySP arrested the theatre owner without the knowledge of superior officials.

The government that came under fire for Satheesh's arrest has also handed over the case to the Crime Branch.

EC Satheesh was arrested under Section 19 of the POCSO Act citing that the cinema hall owner 'leaked' the CCTV footage of the abuse and did not inform the police on time.

The incident that happened on April 18 was caught on a night-vision surveillance camera at the movie theatre. A 60-year-old man, identified as Moideen Kutty Pattambi, was seen sitting in a theatre and sexually abusing the child. The man, flanked by the mother and the child on either side, indulges in sexual acts with both of them while the film was being screened.

The theatre owner informed Childline authorities on April 19 and handed over the footage to them later. After examining the footage, Childline handed it over to the Changaramkulam police on April 25. However, police did not take prompt action in the case, forcing Childline to approach Mathrubhumi channel on May 12, with blurred portions of the visual.

Though Satheesh was given a bail by the police station, both Childline and the Women’s Commission have condemned the arrest.

On Tuesday, Changaramkulam sub-inspector KG Baby, who was suspended following inaction against the main accused, was arrested for failing to register a case. He was later released on bail.

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