The police had already arrested Santosh Kumar and the verdict on the case is expected on Friday.

DNA evidence of second rapist emerges 1 day before verdict in Coimbatore child rape caseImage for representation
news Crime Thursday, December 26, 2019 - 17:01

The mother of the seven-year-old girl who was raped and murdered by her neighbour in Pannimadai has filed a plea in the district court, seeking re-investigation of the case after the Forensic Examination report of the victim stated that more than one man’s semen traces were found in the DNA samples collected from the victim. The plea assumes significance since the case awaits its verdict on Friday at the POCSO court in Coimbatore, however the forensic report has come only this week.

The case relates to the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl in Pannimadai earlier in March.

Kavitha*, the victim’s mother, told TNM that the police, despite knowing that there is another man’s involvement in her child’s death, has not taken any action to book him. “I have been saying this from the beginning, that the number of accused can be more than one man. I got to know about the Forensic report only on Wednesday and it has confirmed my fears. I want the case to be re-investigated and all the accused to be punished accordingly,” she said.

The Forensic Examination report in the case, a copy of which has been accessed by TNM, states that while there are semen stains of the accused Santosh Kumar, there are also traces of another man in the samples collected by the police.

The girl went missing from her house and that evening Kavitha filed a missing person complaint in the nearby police station. The next day, the police discovered the girl’s mutilated body in an alley close to her house. An autopsy confirmed that she was sexually assaulted before being smothered to death.

A week after the incident, the police arrested Santosh Kumar, the victim’s neighbour, in connection with the crime. According to the police, the victim was playing in front of Santosh’s house on the day of the incident and had fallen down while playing. Santosh, on the pretext of helping her, took her inside his house and raped her twice before smothering her to death. The death of Santosh’s grandmother on the day made it convenient for him to hide the girl’s body and dispose it off in the wee hours next day, wrapping it in his t-shirt.

The police arrested Santosh on March 31 and registered an FIR against him under sections 376A (causing death of rape victim) of the IPC in addition to 5(l) (Whoever commits penetrative sexual assault on the child more than once or repeatedly), 5(m) (Whoever commits penetrative sexual assault on a child below twelve years) and 6 (Punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault) of the POCSO Act.”

Speaking to TNM about the forensic report, the Inspector of Thudiyalur All Women’s Police Station (AWPS) told TNM that strict action will be taken based on what the court says on Friday. “I have not yet heard anything of the issue. I am away from Coimbatore on official duty. Whatever is the issue, the verdict is on Friday and based on what the court says, further action will be taken on the case,” she said. 

(*Name changed to protect identity)

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