Days after a 16-year-old Dalit girl in Idukki’s Kattappana, succumbed to her injuries following a suicide attempt allegedly after being sexually assaulted, the accused in the case has been found dead in prison on Thursday. 24-year-old Manu Manoj, is reportedly said to have died by suicide at the Idukki district jail at Muttom.
The youth was found dead at the common area in the prison where the inmates used to dry their clothes at around 3.45 pm, reports the Times of India. He had been remanded in judicial custody after arrest.
It was on October 24 that the youth, a native of Nariyamara, was arrested by the Kattappana police on the complaints of parents of the girl that he allegedly sexually assaulted her, reportedly faking to be in a relationship. According to the police, the accused had then gone absconding and was arrested after the girl attempted suicide.
The 16-year-old had suffered major burn injuries and was under treatment in various government medical college hospitals. However, she succumbed a week later on October 31.
Manu Manoj was a member of the Democratic Youth Front of India (DYFI), youth wing of the CPI(M). After his name surfaced in the case, he was ousted from DYFI, its Idukki officials had told TNM.
The accused was booked under charges of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Earlier, prior to the arrest of the deceased, Yuva Morcha, youth wing of the BJP had held a protest in Kattapana against the alleged delay of police in arresting the accused.
If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help. Here are some helpline numbers of suicide-prevention organisations that can offer emotional support to individuals and families.
State health department's suicide helpline: 104
Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre - 044-24640050 (listed as the sole suicide prevention helpline in Tamil Nadu)
Life Suicide Prevention: 78930 78930
Roshni: 9166202000, 9127848584
Sahai (24-hour): 080 65000111, 080 65000222
Maithri: 0484 2540530
Chaithram: 0484 2361161
Both are 24-hour helpline numbers.
State government's suicide prevention (tollfree): 104
Roshni: 040 66202000, 6620200
SEVA: 09441778290, 040 27504682 (between 9 and 7 pm)
Aasara offers support to individuals and families during an emotional crisis, for those dealing with mental health issues and suicidal ideation, and to those undergoing trauma after the suicide of a loved one.
24x7 Helpline: 9820466726
Click here for working helplines across India.