The main accused in the case of alleged sexual assault of a 17-year-old Coimbatore girl, Manikandan, surrendered before the district Mahila court on Tuesday. The 30-year-old man had been in hiding since November 28, when the case came to light.
Recording his surrender, Justice Radhika of the District Mahila Court ordered for him to be sent to judicial custody till December 17. Karthik of Vadavalli, the other prime accused is still on the run.
The Hindu reports that Manikandan’s mother had claimed that he was preparing for police selection examinations and was associated with the Friends of Police (FoP). S Senthilkumar, FoP coordinator in Coimbatore, however, denied that the accused was a member of their voluntary group.
The case concerns the sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl in a park in Seeranaickenpalayam in Coimbatore. On November 26 night, the girl had gone out with her boyfriend, who is also her cousin, to celebrate her birthday. As they reached a park in Seeranaickenpalayam, a group of six men waylaid the couple and forced the man to strip, and videographed him.
The men then made the girl to strip, sexually assaulted her and videographed the act. The girl then went to her cousin’s place to stay for two days. On November 28, she narrated the incident to her mother, who filed a complaint with the police.
Based on her complaint, the police registered an FIR under sections 5u (Penetrative sexual assault in a child and making the child parade naked in public), 6 (Punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault), 9g (Punishment for gang sexual assault), 10 (Punishment for aggravated sexual assault), 13 (Using child in media for sexual gratification), 14 (Using child for pornographic purposes) and 17 (Abetment of POCSO offence) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and under sections 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 506(2)(Criminal intimidation) of the IPC. The police had also arrested four men --Rahul, Prakash, Karthikeyan and Narayanamoorthy -- on November 30 and remanded them to judicial custody.