Police arrested a man on Thursday for sexually assaulting a three-year-old child at Tirur two days ago. Mohammed Jasim, 33, was picked up from Kozhikode on the basis of information gathered from two dozen suspects who had been questioned in connection with the brutal incident.

Police said Mr. Jasim, who hails from Parappanangadi in the district, had confessed to having committed the crime. He was reported to have taken the child away from its mother while sleeping on the veranda of a shop at Tirur on Monday night, and abandoned it on the premises of a Mahila Mandiram after sexually assaulting the child.

The child suffered multiple injuries to its private parts. The child was first taken to the District Hospital at Tirur, and later to Medical College Hospital in Kozhikode, where it underwent surgery. Doctors said the condition of the child had slightly improved.

Police said Mr. Jasim was a psychopath with sadistic sexual perversions. “It was by sheer grace of God that the child survived. He had gagged it when it screamed in pain,” said a senior police officer. The police said Mr. Jasim was involved in several other crimes, including theft and sexual abuse. He had escaped to Kozhikode after assaulting the child.

The police said his connection with a woman had helped them zero in on him within two days after the crime.

A large number of people crowded outside the police station complex at Tirur on Thursday evening, where the accused was to be brought. Sensing the volatility of the situation, the police took him to Kottakkal, where he gave the statement before a police team led by District Superintendent K. Sethuraman. The crowds at Tirur awaiting the arrival of the accused began to swell after sunset as the police deliberately delayed him at Kottakkal. A strong police force accompanied the vehicle carrying the accused as the police feared a mob attack on him.

Meanwhile, the child’s trauma continued in the intensive care unit of the Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode. Very few visitors were allowed in the area of the hospital where the child remained with her mother.

The child underwent a colostomy, a surgical procedure by which an alternative channel was created for feces to leave the body.

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