The District Child Welfare Committee (CWC) has sent a 15-year-old girl, who is six months pregnant after being sexually abused by her neighbour, to a home for care and protection, even as the police launched a search for the offender.
Acting on a petition referred to it by Judicial Magistrate-I R. Satish, the committee sent the girl, a school dropout, to the home run by a non-government organisation in Pudukottai district. The girl’s father had moved the court, pleading that his daughter be sent to a home for care and protection in view of social stigma to the family after the committee officials told the family that the pregnancy could not be terminated, citing Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.
CWC chairman T. Paulraj said the case came to light on January 17, when the parents of the girl presented a petition to the committee. After filing a case in the All-Woman Police Station, the officials visited the house and they were shocked to see the young girl. “She was anaemic and emaciated, hardly weighing about 35 kg and we could not believe she is pregnant.”
Mr. Paulraj said on the orders of Judicial Magistrate court, the girl was taken for medical examination and a scan revealed that she was 24 weeks pregnant. Though the girl and her parents wanted to abort, doctors said it would not be safe. Moreover, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, allowed abortion only up to the 20th week.
Preliminary investigations by the CWC and the police revealed that the girl was sexually abused by her neighbour Somaia Raj (27), a truck driver. He had repeatedly abused the girl, after threatening that he would knock down her parents with the truck, if she told anyone. He is absconding.