For close to six months, a 11-year-old boy from Tirur, Malappuram, who was attending classes at the local Madrassa, was allegedly subjected to horrific sexual assault by the local teacher. The incident came to light on March 15, when the minor, sickened by the ordeal, finally decided to reveal it to his parents. On Wednesday, the Tirur police arrested the accused - K Ali, a 30-year-old from Kanmanam who was teaching at the Madrassa.
Speaking to TNM, Malappuram Childline co-ordinator Anwar K said that the boy had been subjected to aggressive sexual assault multiple times.
“The boy was counselled by Childline authorities on March 15 and 16. He was sexually assaulted several times. According to the victim’s statement, the accused would approach him before or after classes,” he said.
The parents, on hearing about the incident, immediately contacted Childline authorities who counselled the boy.
“The parents were initially hesitant to file a police compliant as the incident happened in a religious institution. However, they subsequently did file a complaint and a POCSO case was registered in the Tirur police station,” Anwar said.
The case has been registered under sections 3(b), 3(c) and 3(d) - penetrative sexual assault, 5(f) (whoever being on the management or staff of educational or religious institution commits penetrative sexual assault), 5(m) - penetrative sexual assault on child below 12 years, and 6 - aggravated penetrative sexual assault of the POCSO Act, section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act which lays down the punishment for abuse, abandonment, assault, neglect or exposing of the child to physical or mental suffering by someone, who has the charge of, or control over, a child.
“Any case which involves a child below 12 years old will be considered a serious offence which could come under sections 5 and 6 of POCSO. In case of repeated assault, the case will be considered a serious offence if the assault occurred two or more times. In this case, both of these are applicable and the child was also gravely assaulted, ” Anwar added.
Vazhakkad sexual abuse racket
Even as the horrific sexual assault case unfolded in Tirur, an hour and a half away in Vazhakkad, five people were booked for allegedly sexually abusing two minors in the district for over two years. The police has arrested five accused in three separate cases involving sexual abuse of two boys - aged 12 and 13.
“We came to know of this incident when some locals spotted the boys smoking a cigarette on the road. Some of them had noticed the man (one of the accused) who had given them the cigarette. They were aware of his reputation and immediately alerted Childline,” Anwar added.
When Childline counselled the victims, it was revealed that they were sexually abused by over five men in different places - hotels and lodges - in the district. Four of the accused, Kabeer (44), Basheer (38), Saidalavi (65) and Saidalavi (64), all natives of Vazhayur in Malappuram were arrested. The police are on the hunt for Hameed (30), the fifth accused who has been absconding since the incident came to light.
“In many of these cases, the children are groomed to comply with the accused persons. In this case too, the boys were befriended two years ago. They were being given money and free rides to school. They were blackmailed to maintain silence after the first time they were abused. Children also find it hard to talk about these things. They are scared and embarrassed,” Anwar added.