Rights organisation seeks compensation for affected family

Forensic experts have taken swabs to check the possibility of sexual assault on 13-year-old Punitha who was found dead on Friday. Though the autopsy indicated a clear case of murder, there was no confirmation yet on rape, police sources said.

“The victim’s family sees no apparent motive. Considering the time, place and nature of the offence, we strongly suspect a case of sexual assault. The victim probably offered resistance provoking the suspects to kill her,” a senior police official said.

Tamil Nadu Director-General of Police K. Ramanujam said a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) had been devised to investigate cases of missing persons. Evolved by the Crime Branch CID, the SOP was circulated to all police stations in the State.

“We have instructed the police to treat every such complaint as a possible human trafficking case. In many cases, people who are reported missing eventually come back. We cannot treat every complaint as a case of abduction unless there is reasonable suspicion. Despite these factors, police have been told to put in the best of their efforts to trace the person reported missing,” Mr. Ramanujam said adding that there was a plan to deploy women police to sensitise vulnerable women/children on basic safety aspects.

‘Evidence’, a human rights organisation, has sought a compensation of Rs. 10 lakh to the affected family. Children were victims in a majority of the 677 cases of sexual assaults reported in Tamil Nadu last year. Accused persons involved in rapes should be detained under the Goondas Act, Evidence Executive Director A. Kathir said in a statement.

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