A 17-year-old girl from Malappuram district has been allegedly sexually abused multiple times in the last 4 years, despite a complaint first being registered in 2016. She has alleged that around 27 people sexually assaulted her from March 2020.
The girl, who hails from Pandikkad in Malappuram, lives with her aged mother and was first subjected to sexual abuse in 2016, when she was 13 years old. A POCSO case was filed then and she was moved to a Nirbhaya shelter home. After a few months, she was allowed to go home after her relatives filed a petition. However, in 2017, another complaint was given by the girl alleging sexual abuse by people in the locality. Then again she was shifted to a Nirbhaya home and was allowed to go home only in 2020 when the lockdown was going to be announced.
"Based on her complaint, 32 POCSO cases have been registered. Seven of these are cases of rape and also under POCSO sections 3 and 4. In the rest of the cases, the victim has alleged sexual abuse and we have filed cases under 5, 6 and 7 of the POCSO Act," Pandikkad Station House Officer told TNM.
"For now, we don't think her relatives are involved. The girl has given statements against all the accused," the police officer said. The police were not willing to reveal the name of the accused.
The trial of the case which was filed in 2016 has been going on while the news cases were registered.
P Geetha, a social activist, told the media that there are many cases where POCSO victims were given back to the family and they undergo similar abuse again due to the failure of the authorities.
"The people who send back a victim to the same situation again are equally guilty as the culprits in the POCSO cases. If this was only once we could have thought it was a mistake, but when this happens repeatedly it cannot be taken lightly. Why are the authorities leaving the children back with their relatives?" she asked on Media One.