Babita alleges that an Assistant Sub Inspector accused her of being involved in sex work and asked her daughter when she had entered the ‘field’.

Kerala 12-year-old abused twice then accused of sex work by cop says mother of victimImage for representation only
news Crime Tuesday, April 04, 2017 - 17:15

A shocking case of a 12-year-old being sexually abused on two different occasions by three neighbours has come to light in Kerala. According to 31-year-old Babita*, a resident of Kochi, her 12-year-old daughter Ajitha* was abused twice – once by her neighbour in Palarivottam, Ernakulam and once by two neighbours of Ajitha’s father, who lives separately in Thrissur.

While the incidents allegedly occurred in January, they came to light only two months later in March. Ajitha revealed the two incidents to her mother when Babita confronted her after noticing her growing increasingly aloof and withdrawn.

What’s more, Babita alleges that when she proceeded to complain about the issue, she was faced with apathy by police, with an official even accusing Babita of being involved in sex work. "Have you entered the field too?" the officer asked 12-year-old Ajitha, alleges Babita.

The Case

Two different FIRs have been registered in the case. One has been filed at the Palarivattom police station in Ernakulam against Jayadevan, who is Babita's neighbour, for allegedly sexually abusing Ajitha at his house. According to the Palarivottam police, Jayadevan has been absconding since the probe began on March 25.

The second FIR has been filed at the Erumapetty police station in Thrissur, where the girl's father resides. This FIR has been registered against 50-year-old Shivan and his son, neighbours of Ajitha’s father. According to Babita, the father-son duo abused Ajitha when her daughter was alone in the house. 

While Shivan was arrested on Sunday and has been remanded to judicial custody, his son was produced before the juvenile justice board and sent to a state-run home. 

Harassment from police

On Sunday, Babita narrates, she and Ajitha were summoned to the office of the Kunnamkulam Circle Inspector to record their statements. On the inspector's directions, they went to Babita's husband's house in Erumapetty to bring the dress Ajitha wore at the time of the abuse. 

When they got there, Shivan's relatives and at least 30 men blocked their car, she alleges. "It was around 9pm and they surrounded our car, preventing us from reaching our house. They tried to force open the doors and constantly verbally abused us... called us names," Babita recalls. 

The family spent almost an hour inside the car, surrounded by men who threatened to harm them if they stepped out. Help seemed to arrive an hour later, when Assistant Sub Inspector TD Jose arrived at the spot. 

However, says Babita, ASI Jose then proceeded to verbally abuse Babita and her daughter. "I was relieved to see a police van and ran towards it. The first thing ASI John asked me is what I was doing there at 10 in the night. He accused me of running a brothel in Ernakulam and asked me whether I have slept with his senior officials, for they were taking an interest in this case. He then went up to the car, pulled out my daughter by her hand and asked her whether she had entered the ‘field’. The police, who were supposed to save us from the men threatening us, were in fact misbehaving with us," Babita alleges. 

Following Babita’s complaint, the Kunnamkulam DySP suspended ASI John late on Monday, and instituted a departmental inquiry against the officer. However, Babita says that she will also file a case against the police officer under POCSO, for verbally abusing her daughter.

*Names changed to protect privacy.

 

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