Girl was lured by 32-year-old man; left injured on road
Just two days after the country celebrated International Day of the Girl Child on October 11, a nine-year-old girl was raped by a 32-year-old man in Semmencherry and left bleeding on the road.
The incident occurred on Sunday evening, and the child, who was spotted by passers-by, was rushed to hospital. She is said to be out of danger. Later on Sunday night, police arrested the man.
According to investigating officers, the girl is the daughter of Kadiresan, a labourer and his wife Roja. The couple reside in Medavakkam and Roja runs a fruit shop in another area. The child is in class V at a government school.
As there had been a long stream of customers throughout the festive season, Roja had been tired and had taken a day off on Sunday. She asked her mother Sakunthala to take care of the business. Since it was a school holiday for the nine-year-old girl, she accompanied her grandmother to the shop.
Business was brisk at the shop. At around 3 p.m., a man, later identified as Suresh, a load autorickshaw driver, stopped by. “He started speaking to the child. He promised to buy her a doll and asked her to accompany him,” said a police officer.
The girl tried to ask Sakunthala if she could go, but she was busy with customers. “The child accompanied the driver and he asked her to get into his vehicle. He then took her to a secluded spot in Semmenchery and raped her, and dumped her on the road,” said the officer.
Passers-by who spotted the child asked her what had happened, and took her to her mother. She was rushed to a private hospital and then shifted to the Children’s Hospital in Egmore where she is undergoing treatment.
Based on a complaint filed by the girl’s parents, the police began a search for the accused.
“We asked other load autorickshaw drivers and they told us where to find Suresh. We arrested him on Sunday night,” said the officer.
The accused has been booked under section 366 A (procuration of a minor girl) and 376 (rape) and sections 3 and 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. Under this act, the penalty for penetrative sexual assault is not less than seven years, and could extend to imprisonment for life. Suresh has been remanded to custody.
(Some names have been changed)