A 17-year-old Kerala girl and her parents were found dead in their residence in Kottayam on Sunday morning, allegedly after the minor was found pregnant.
The Velloor police, who are investigating the case, claimed that the class 12 student near Thalayolaparambu was in a relationship with a 20-year-old man in her neighbourhood.
A few days prior to the incident, the minor had complained of stomach pain, and her parents took her to a hospital. On the doctor's direction, the parents took her for a few tests to a laboratory at Muvattupuzha in Ernakulam district, on Saturday. There, her results returned positive for pregnancy, said the police.
When the minor disclosed her alleged relationship with the 20-year-old to the doctor, the latter informed the Muvattupuzha police, who in turn, forwarded the case to the Velloor police station, reports stated. Though the police say it was a consensual relationship, the family's version is not known.
The Velloor police told TNM that the minor's parents killed themselves the next day, on Sunday, as they could not deal with the news of their daughter's pregnancy. “On seeing her parents dead, the girl called up and informed her sister. However, she then went on to end her own life,” an official at the station said.
The Velloor police have registered a case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code against the 20-year-old man.
The POCSO Act in India is meant to prevent and address child sexual abuse in the country. However, several activists in the country have pointed out how the act criminalises sexual activity between teenagers. With the age of consent in India set as 18, any sexual activity between teenage couples, regardless of consensual or not, is criminalised under POCSO. In its present state, POCSO makes no distinction between sexual assault and consensual sexual relations between teenagers.
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