The 17-year-old girl, who was sexually abused for over a year, is now pregnant.

How a minors sexual abuse case unlocked a sex racket in Kerala Image for representation only
news Sexual Abuse Wednesday, August 09, 2017 - 13:50

It all started with a sexual abuse complaint. A 17-year-old girl, Bala*, walked into a police station in Kerala with her mother, and filed a complaint against her boyfriend for abusing and subsequently impregnating her.

But soon, it turned out that the minor was involved in a sex racket, the Kerala police say. The 17-year-old Dalit girl from Thiruvananthapuram revealed during counselling that she was sexually exploited by some of her neighbours, who were operating a racket in the Vilippilsala police station limits.

The case

Last week, Bala’s mother filed a complaint with the Vilippilsala police station against her boyfriend, for allegedly sexually abusing and impregnating her minor daughter. The girl is reportedly into the seventh month of her pregnancy.

According to the complaint, Gopal* was in a relationship with the girl and had taken her to different places and sexually abused her several times, following which she became pregnant.

"The girl's mother gave a complaint with Vilappilsala police station alleging that her lover sexually abused her and she got pregnant. The complaint also said Gopal refused to marry her after the girl became pregnant,” says S Dinil Nedumangad, the DySP of Vilappilsala station.

“But we got suspicious about the claim and we informed Childline officials. They spoke to the girl and it was revealed that many are involved other than Gopal," the officer adds.

The sex racket

Once she was given counselling, Bala revealed that she was being sexually abused after being lured into a sex racket by a few of her neighbours.

According to the police, Bala’s neighbour Sreekala and her husband Suresh took the minor to different places, and shot videos of her being abused. They threatened the girl into continuing with the racket.

"Sreekala trapped the girl and presented her to many men, and threatened her using the visuals. Suresh was finding people,” the DySP says.

In connection with the abuse of the girl, the Kerala police have registered two cases. One, against Gopal, who allegedly is the girl's boyfriend who impregnated her. The second case is against four others who ran a sex racket using the girl. The accused are named as Sreekala, Suresh, Shiny and Sebastian.

“We registered it as two cases as Gopal was not involved in the sex racket," S Dinil adds.

All of them have been charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, as well as under Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, as the girl belonged to Scheduled caste.

Abused for 1.5 years

A Child welfare committee officer told TNM, "This abuse was happening for one and a half years. The girl told us that many men were involved, but she doesn't know exactly how many. It was after she got pregnant that the mother complained to the police.”

“Her mother said that she was not aware about the abuse. When we asked why she did not enquire where her daughter was going, she said she used to go for work and did not know that her daughter was being abused,” the officer added.

The officer further said that Bala was not in a mental state to speak too much, and that they would gather more information once she feels better. “She doesn’t know who caused the pregnancy,” the officer said.

*Name changed to protect identity 

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