The Kayamkulam police arrested Arun Kumar, 25, driver of a school van, on Thursday on the charge of molesting a five-year-old girl he had been taking to school and back on his van. The police said the accused had been harassing the child, a UKG student, since June when school reopened. Her parents sensed something wrong when the child showed signs of uneasiness and depression, following which she was taken to a doctor and a complaint was lodged with the police.

The child has been taken to the Government Medical College here for further medical examination.

Murder case

In another case, the Kayamkulam police said the court would be requested to allow the police custody of Viswarajan, 22, who was arrested on Tuesday on the charges of rape and murder of Smitha of Olakettiyambalam in Kayamkulam earlier this week. Viswarajan is now in judicial custody. The police said the accused attacked Smitha on seeing her walking home alone on Monday night.

He dragged the unconscious woman to a marshy field nearby and raped her. He fled the scene soon after, leaving her with her head half-buried in the marsh. By the time the public saw her and she was rushed to hospital, the woman died. Viswarajan, a daily wage construction labourer, is an accused in several cases of attacks on women, the police said.