The Rasipuram All Women Police in Namakkal district arrested seven men, including a 75-year-old, on Monday for allegedly sexually abusing two minor girls over a period of six months. The police acted based on an alert from a child protection officer, conducted an investigation, and rescued the two siblings. The police have sent the two girls, 12 and 13 years old, to a childrenâ€™s home in Namakkal.
On Sunday, one of the accused named Muthuswamy (75) had allegedly gone to the house of the two siblings and tried to sexually assault them. Following this, the girl children raised an alarm and the public around came to the rescue. The girls reportedly told them that there were other men also abusing them. The same people who came to the girlsâ€™ rescue also informed the child protection officer, reports said.
Following a complaint from the child protection officer, the police arrested the seven accused under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The accused have been remanded to judicial custody.
Talking to TNM, an official with the Rasipuram All Women police said, â€śOur team conducted an investigation based on an alert from the child protection officer Ranjini Priya. It was found that seven people have sexually abused the two children for six months.â€ť The police suspect more men may have been involved in the abuse and are conducting a detailed investigation into the case.
According to reports, six of the seven accused have been identified. Apart from Muthuswamy, Siva (26), Surya (23), Shamugam (45), Manikandan (30) and Senthamizh Selvam (31) have been arrested. The seven men would allegedly sexually assault the children when their single mother was away for work during mornings and nights, and then threatened the girls against revealing the abuse.
On Monday, meanwhile, a lawyer named Arul made a representation before the Madurai bench of Madras High Court seeking that the court take suo moto cognizance of all the cases pertaining to child sexual abuse in the past eight years. He has also questioned the implementation of the POCSO Act. The bench of judges, justice Kirubakaran and justice Pugazhenthi told the lawyer to file a petition following which the case will be heard in the court.