Seven-year-old Vishal had much to tell his mother. According to him, a thief came into their hostel and kidnapped two girls (referring to the minors who were raped around midnight on June 11).
Visalakshi had enrolled her sons, Vishal and Vimal (8), at the Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church-run home for children at Pollachi a year ago. She came to know about the rape last week through media reports and has not been able to eat or sleep properly since then. Her husband comes home drunk every day, and she works at construction sites and on farms for livelihood. She wanted to ensure that her children had good education; with the situation turning worse in the family, she decided to put her two sons at the TELC home. Her three-year-old daughter Vaishnavi lives with her in a village near Anamalai.
Vishal and Vimal are among the 17 children (16 boys and one girl) who were shifted to the reception units — Don Bosco and Marialaya — of the Child Welfare Committee here last Thursday following the closure of the TELC home.
Prashanth, Suriya and Dilip also came here with Vishal and Vimal. But they will go with their parents only on Thursday as their father Elumalai is yet to get the transfer certificate from the school at Pollachi. Elumalai and his wife move from one town to another to sell clothes.
Some parents are taking back the children and do not want to put them in a hostel anymore, even if it means a struggle to bring them up. As many as 11 boys from the TELC home went back with their parents on Tuesday.
Two more homes for children have been closed as they were in a poor condition, and children from these homes have also shifted to the reception units, says P. Samson, chairman, Child Welfare Committee.
Of the 94 children who have moved to the reception units from these three homes, 33 have gone with their parents.
Meanwhile, the condition of the girls at the Pollachi Government Hospital is better. They will be discharged in a week and rehabilitated in government homes with the consent of their parents, Collector Archana Patnaik said.
Veeran alias V. Veerasamy, 23, of Valparai, the accused in the rape of two minors of the TELC home at Pollachi last week, underwent a potency test at the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital on Tuesday. Sources said he was brought to the hospital under tight security and taken to the Forensics Department where the test was done.