Police on trail of three who abused minor girl in city hotel

The rule that hotels and boarding houses should collect identity proofs of customers has helped the city police in the investigation of a recent sexual harassment case involving a 15-year-old in the city.

The three persons, who had booked a room where the child was assaulted, had given their names and telephone numbers at the hotel reception. Besides, their images had been captured by the hotel CCTV cameras.

This helped the police team investigating the case, City Police Commissioner A.V. Geroge told The Hindu on Sunday. “We are currently trying to track the culprits using the phone numbers and the CCTV images,” he said.

Hotel and Restaurant Owners’ Association president N.B. Krishna Kurup said the association had been giving strict guidelines to its members to follow the rule. Every person residing in our hotels has to furnish proof of identity. There are no exceptions. The police monitor the system and make sure that we follow the rule.

He admitted that some lodges were found flouting the rule. “We can only issue guidelines to them. We cannot enforce the rules,” he said.

The police had not been able to monitor the hotels for some time now due to elections. If any violation comes to notice, action would be taken against such hotels, Mr. George said.

It was on Friday that a 15-year-old girl from Panvel in Maharashtra filed a harassment complaint with the women’s police station here. She stated that she managed to escape from a lodge in the city where she was held captive and sexually assaulted by two men and a woman who had allegedly brought her for household work.

Hearing held

The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights had taken suo motu cognisance of the case. The Commission, represented by Member K. Nazeer, heard the victim and the woman police officer who registered the case on Saturday. Mr. Nazeer told The Hindu that the Commission was looking at all aspects, including any delay on part of the police in taking action.

The Commission would see whether there were any violations of ‘statutory provisions’ on part of the police, he said. “The police could take the victim’s version in such cases only at her place of residence. But here, the police took her version and registered the case at the police station, which was a violation of rules,” he said. The Commission would seek an explanation from the City Police Commissioner and the Child Welfare Committee and submit a report to the government. A monitoring committee would be set up as the case proceeded, Mr. Nazeer said.

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