Three days after the Rajasthani teen who went missing from Kerala was traced to Navi Mumbai, the Kerala police produced main accused Mohammad Roshan (19) before the POCSO court in Kollam, where he was remanded to judicial custody on Friday. The girl was sent to a shelter home run by the Child Welfare Commission. However, the police have yet to confirm her age after statements by the accused that the girl was 18 years old.
“As per the photocopy of the School Transfer Certificate that her parents submitted to us, the girl is 17 years, 6 months and 2 days old. Right now, this is the only document we have as they don’t have her birth certificate. To get conclusive evidence, we will be getting certificates from her previous school in Pali, Rajasthan,” CI of Oachira police station told TNM. The girl had also given her statement and had undergone a medical examination before being sent to the shelter home.
As for the main accused, he will be booked under all the POCSO sections until the police receives conclusive evidence of the girl’s age.
“If the girl is below 18 years of age, then none of the statements of the accused will matter. There will be no question of consent and he will be tried under POCSO act. However, we are yet to confirm the girl’s age and have remanded the main accused until then,” the CI added.
On March 18, the teen girl along with the main accused went missing from Oachira in Kollam. According to the police, the girl was taken from her house in Oachira by the trio, after assaulting the father. Apart from main accused Roshan, Vipin Paykuzhya, Pyariand Ajayan - three others who aided the couple, were all arrested and remanded following the incident. The girl is one of the 7 children of a Rajasthani couple, who migrated to Kollam two years ago.
The duo were traced three days ago in Panvel, Navi Mumbai by a team of police officers from Kerala. Following procedures, they were brought back to Kerala on Thursday.