The Chennai police has filed a first information report (FIR) naming the mother of a 16-year-old girl from Tiruvottiyur for allegedly luring her into sex work. Following a report by TNM highlighting the undue delay in the registration of the case, the police have booked both the mother and an alleged accomplice under multiple sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
On October 16, TNM reported the plight of Anuja*, a Class 11 student who was fending off her mother's efforts to force her into sex work. Her mother Latha* was allegedly already involved in sex work and asked Anuja to join her on the insistence of a man named Akbar, whom she worked with. Akbar has also been named in the FIR as an accused person.
According to the young girl, Latha was forcing her to talk to strange men on the phone and promised her a new phone and money if she joined her. Anuja's father has been ill and had not been going to work for over six months. When he came to know of his wife's activities he asked her to leave the house. When the father and daughter then attempted to file a complaint with the police, the Tiruvottiyur All Women Police station inspector Suguna allegedly refused to take their complaint. Anuja and her father alleged that the police at the station sided with the accused persons and delayed registering an FIR.
TNM then contacted Deputy Commissioner of Police H Jayalakshmi of the Special Wing for Crimes against Women and Children, who assured immediate action. But while the FIR was registered hours after TNM's report, the family has said there has been no progress in the case since.
"We have not been updated on what has happened after the FIR was registered. We are demanding action against the inspector of the Tiruvottiyur station as well. She tried to force my daughter to go with her mother despite our complaint," says Ravi*, Anuja's father. "Unless she is removed, we won't get justice. We are being forced to fight at every step of this case."