Less than 24 hours since India instituted death penalty for the rape of children below 12 years, the state of Tamil Nadu reported three cases of child sexual abuse. And amongst those accused in these heinous crimes is KP Prem Ananth a lawyer based out of Chennai.
Prem Ananth who was a candidate for the BJP in the assembly elections in 2006 also runs a school in Chennai.
He got into a train travelling from Tiruvananthapuram to Chennai on Sunday morning and has been accused of sexually assaulting a nine-year-old.
The young girl was with her parents and sleeping on the middle berth when the lawyer kissed her cheeks, pressed her chest, closed her mouth and molested her further. The child luckily managed to scream and alert her parents.
Even as other passengers and the police cornered him, the lawyer remained brazen, threatening them with his advocate tag and political connections.
And as it turns out, this is not the first time the lawyer has used this threat.
A complaint letter and FIR accessed by TNM from the Madhavaram police station shows that Prem Ananth is not only a repeat offender but also brazen when caught after committing a crime.
According to a complaint filed on 27th March 2015, by a woman in Tiruvallur district, he sexually harrassed her, attacked her family and even threatened them.
"Close to 11pm, my children and I came out of a restaurant and my husband was still inside to settle the bill. I was waiting outside with my children. A man drove up in a car then and beckoned me closer. I thought he wanted directions and went closer. He then asked me to sleep with him for 10 minutes. I yelled at him for talking in that manner. He then caught my hand and pulled it. By then, my husband came to find out what happened. The man in the car then hit me and my husband. He said, I am High court advocate Prem Ananth. Noone can do anything to me. You do whatever you can. Then, he removed a chain from his own neck. He threatened that he will claim that we tried to snatch it," reads the complaint letter.
In the FIR filed the next day, the lawyer was booked under section 4 of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Women Harassment act 2002.
When TNM contacted officials involved to know the status of the case, we were told that the trial was underway and that both the complainant and her husband had been interrogated and witnesses remain to be questioned in the matter.
Despite this, he stayed out of prison, free to commit other crimes.
In a complaint filed against him at the North Beach station in February this year, he has been accused of intimidating another family.
According to complainant who holds a degree in law, Prem Ananth entered his house at 12.00 in the afternoon with his wife, son, brother and several lawyers on February 20. He proceeded to lock the complainant's family in the house and vandalise it from the outside. When the complainant questioned the accused about his behaviour, he allegedly assaulted him. A wall in their house was destroyed by the time the police arrived to help, says the complainant.
The attack on him and his family was allegedly due to a case in the City civil court which the complainant won.
The lawyer had indeed contested as the BJP's candidate in the 2006 elections from Dr.Radhakrishnan Nagar in Chennai. But the party has distanced itself from him. According to the BJP's state media cell, Prem Ananth is no longer a member of the party as he had failed to renew his membership close to a decade ago. A source in the Bar Council told TNM that he was not an actively practising lawyer and was running a textile showroom.