Police pick up few suspects, have definite lead in the case

As the grim realities of a horrific rape of two minor girls came to the fore a day after the incident, an angst-ridden public raised several questions about the safety of children’s homes, even as the two victims battle in a Government hospital here to overcome their trauma.

“Take me back home” was what the minor girl, who was allegedly raped on Wednesday night along with another resident of a children’s home at Pollachi had told her stepmother when she met her at the Government hospital there.

She is one of the two girls, who were staying at the Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church-run home and were allegedly raped at knife point.

“The girl did not say anything more; she had been repeatedly telling me to take her home,” the woman said. She is a daily wage earner. Her husband and she had enrolled the girl to the hostel three years ago as the family could not afford her education, who is the eldest of their three children. Though the woman said she did not know how she would be able to educate the girl, she was nevertheless determined to take her. The family of the second girl, aged around 10, refused to meet the press.

Doctors at the Pollachi Government Hospital said that though the girls are traumatised they are responding well to treatment. The girls are at the paediatrics ward. They also said that the girls underwent counselling session. The Police have increased the security at the paediatrics ward.

Following the closure of the home at Pollachi on Thursday after the alleged rape the remaining 17 children of the home, all aged between six and 13, have been shifted to Don Bosco Anbu Illam, Coimbatore.

One of them is a girl and has been sent to a separate home for girls.

The Hindu’s efforts to speak to the children could not succeed as district officials refused permission.

Official sources in the district administration said a special team has been formed to inspect all the homes in the district, to check whether they adhered to safety and other norms.