The Andhra Pradesh police have arrested a 26-year-old man, Sampath, for allegedly attempting to sexually assault a minor girl in a village in Singanamala mandal of Ananthapuram district on Thursday. The accused was a grama volunteer, a position created by the YSRCP government at the village level to facilitate better disbursement of services like pensions, rations and so on.
The incident happened on Wednesday, when the 14-year-old girl was staying alone in her house as her parents went for daily wage work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme (MNREGA). According to local media reports, Sampath was visiting the locality as part of the regular duties when the incident happened.
The girl, who is studying in a local Zilla Parishad High School, alleged that the volunteer tried to sexually assault her after he asked her for drinking water, which she offered. Locals heard the cries of the resisting girl and rushed to the house, but Sampath had managed to escape the scene.
The minor girlâ€™s parents have lodged a complaint with Singanamala Police, who booked Sampanth under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 and other relevant sections of IPC.
Singanamala Station House Officer (SHO), Ram Bhupal, said, "A case has been registered against the grama volunteer for attempting to sexually assault a minor when he was out on duty in the village. As we have to test everyone for COVID-19 before sending them to jail now, we will be sending him for remand as soon as we get his test results.â€ť
Meanwhile, Mandal Parishad Development Officer of Singanamala has suspended the accused Sampath from grama volunteer duties.
Earlier in June, a grama volunteer in Nellore was accused of misbehaving with a woman, and in another incident a grama volunteer in Visakhapatnam was also accused of harassing an ex-MLAâ€™s driver who killed himself later.