"Government should create awareness of need to protect vulnerable women"

In a daring incident, five persons physically abused a 23-year-old woman, who was suffering from mental illness.

Following a complaint from N. Ganesan (52) of Nagamalai Pudukottai, near here, Superintendent of Police Asra Garg directed the police to register a case.

According to the complainant, who is a differently-abled person, he had been to the Government Rajaji hospital for treatment as in-patient a few months ago. For assistance, his wife had accompanied him to the hospital. The couple had left their daughter, who is mentally ill at home.

Utilising this opportunity, some miscreants in the locality gained entry into the residence of Ganesan and physically abused the woman. When the issue came to light, Ganesan and his wife were shocked. They immediately lodged a complaint with the police praying for stern action against the accused.

Inspectors of Police Balaji and Bommaisamy, who conducted the investigation, secured some of the suspects from the area.

They arrested P. Murugan (59), N. Nagapandi (27) of N.P. Kottai and M. Muniandi (56), M. Vigneshwaran (19) and K. Palanivel (19) of Othaveedu, who allegedly confessed to having committed the crime. A case of rape was registered. A police press note issued here on Monday said that the accused were produced before a judicial magistrate. Further investigation is on.

Appeal

Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Association for the Rights of All Types of Differently-Abled and Caregivers (TARATDAC) state president Jhansi Rani, in a press note from Chennai, appealed to the Chief Minister to punish the accused and ensure that women, especially those who were mentally ill, were protected against such grave crimes. It also called for the rehabilitation of the victim.

According to Ms. Jhansi Rani, the victim was pregnant and was likely to deliver a child in about 45 to 50 days. The government should not only take care of the entire expenses incurred for the woman in delivering the child but also compensate her adequately for bringing up the child. The parents should also be compensated for the mental agony.

She urged the government authorities to create awareness across the State of the need to protect women (suffering from mental illness and other disabilities) from being exploited by anti-social elements and ensure that such incidents did not recur.