A Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) worker was taken into custody by the Kannur police on Wednesday for allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl who belongs to the Scheduled Tribe community. DYFI is the youth wing of the CPI(M). The DYFI worker Nidheesh (32) was the neighbour of the survivor. He surrendered before the police on Wednesday.
Nidheesh had been absconding for the last few days after the survivor's family filed a complaint with the police on May 24. He had allegedly taken the survivor to a nearby school and assaulted her. The survivor's father told the media that the accused accosted her when she was returning home after washing clothes at a stream nearby. He then forcefully took her to a school, where he assaulted her. "Some of our acquaintances saw him taking her to the school. Later when we asked her, she said that this person assaulted her. She said he forcefully took her," he said. The father said that the family had good relations with Nidheesh, who is married and has a child.
The police have registered a case under sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. A Police team headed by Peravur DySP TP Jackob is in charge of the investigation.
Atrocities against tribal children are frequently reported in the state. In February 2021, a 22-year-old tribal youth was booked under POCSO after his 14-year-old wife gave birth to a baby in Malappuram district.
In August 2020, police in Thiruvananthapuram district arrested a 56-year-old man for sexually assaulting minor tribal siblings. The survivors were aged 14 and 11. In February 2020, a 14-year-old tribal girl was sexually assaulted by her uncle at knifepoint in Wayanad district.