A month after the Kerala High Court ordered that the special investigation team (SIT) probing the Palathayi child sexual abuse case be reconstituted, the newly constituted team has started the probe. In the case pertaining to the alleged sexual abuse of a 10-year-old girl, the new investigation team has been constituted, replacing S Sreejith, Inspector General of Police, against whom the girlâ€™s parents had moved the High Court.
The new SIT will be monitored by Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) EJ Jayaraj and the investigation will be led by Taliparamba Deputy Superintendent of Police TK Rathnakumar, reports Media One. According to reports, ADGP Jayaraj met the childâ€™s family on Saturday.
The girlâ€™s family had earlier moved the HC stating that they donâ€™t have faith in the investigation led by IG S Sreejith. It was following this that the HC ordered the formation of a new investigation team, replacing all its members, including IG Sreejith.
In the case, the girlâ€™s school teacher K Padmarajan, who is also a local BJP leader, is the accused. The girl had complained that the accused had sexually assaulted her multiple times in school. Though initially, the Kannur police had arrested the man under charges of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) and Indian Penal Code (IPC), but when the case was taken over by the Crime Branch team, headed by S Sreejith, the investigation report was filed in the case without POCSO charges. This had led the accused to come out on bail.
An audio clip alleged to be that of IG Sreejith had also surfaced, where the officer can be heard justifying the removal of POCSO charges and that the statement of the girl was contradictory. This had paved way for protests by activists and writers in Kerala, following which the family approached the court against the investigation team.