Women’s panel supervising investigation

A 13-year-old girl in Dharmadam has been raped allegedly by her father, 15-year-old brother and uncle. The three accused have been arrested.

The girl revealed the abuse to the authorities of her school, who alerted the police. She is now under the care of the Child Welfare Committee.

The Kerala State Women’s Commission, concerned about the growing number of cases of sexual abuse of girls within their families, is supervising the investigation.

The police said the girl revealed the abuse to her teacher who saw her crying in school after class hours. She had been sexually abused since the age of 11.

The police first arrested her father and brother. Her uncle was arrested last Friday. The court sent the boy to the Juvenile Home in Thalassery. The arrested men are in judicial custody.

The police are investigating the death of the victim’s elder sister, who allegedly committed suicide two years ago. The victim told the police that her sister, then aged 15, had been a victim of sexual abuse in the family. The case is now being investigated afresh.

K. Rosakutty, Chairperson of the women’s commission, has intervened to ensure that the police filed the case under proper sections of the relevant Acts.

Ms. Rosakutty told The Hindu that she had spoken to the District Police Chief and verified with the investigators that the case had been registered under the sections that would ensure maximum punishment to the accused. “The commission will be vigilant in supervising this case,” she said. The panel would ensure the victim’s safety and education.

She said she would visit the victim on Thursday.

M.P. Vinod, Circle Inspector, Thalassery, said the case had been registered under Section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code and under sections 3 and 4 (penetrative sexual assault) and 7 and 8 (sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

Child Welfare Committee officials here said the case had again shown that most such cases came to light through the teachers, and not mothers, of the victims. The silence of mothers in such cases could be attributed to their desire to save the family honour.

They said arrangements would be made to admit the victim to a new school and give her counselling.

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