‘The arrest took place just because the girl said that she was assaulted by a ‘Nellai’ shopkeeper’

The family members of L.Gnanasikamani (78), who was arrested by the Vellakoil police on the charge of sexually assaulting a minor girl on Monday, submitted a petition to Collector G. Govindaraj on Thursday complaining that the police had filed the case without properly inquiring into the complaint of the girl’s mother.

The girl committed suicide before which she had reportedly told her mother of the sexual assault incident that led to the arrest of the septuagenarian.

G. Pennington (43), son of Gnanasikamani and a businessman based in Bangalore, who came with his sister and brother-in-law to submit the petition, told The Hindu that his father was too old and also the arrest took place just because the girl said that she was assaulted by a ‘Nellai’ shopkeeper.

“Actually, many of the shops situated in our locality at Natesan Nagar in Vellakoil are run by people who hail from Tirunelveli (referred to as Nellai). The police came to the first shop, which is a grocery run by my sister where my father used to sit, and arrested him without checking with the other stores in the area run by ‘Nellai’ people,” he said.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (Kangayam sub-division) C. Durairaj said that the arrest was made under Section 3 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, only after thorough inquiry. “Further, the girl specifically told her mother of the shop’s name and the old man sitting there,” he added.

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