Special Correspondent

Sexual assault on Wayanad tribal girl

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Finance Minister Vakkom Purushothaman, holding charge of Home portfolio, told the Assembly on Thursday that stern action would be taken against the person who had sexually assaulted a 13-year-old tribal girl of Vellamunda in Wayanad and tried to immolate her.

Opposing a motion given notice by M.V. Jayarajan (CPI-M) and others seeking leave for adjournment of the House to discuss the issue, Mr. Purushothaman said the police had nabbed two persons in connection with the incident, but had let them off when the girl said she was attacked by some other person. The Government viewed the matter with great seriousness and is determined to nab the guilty at the earliest.

Health Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan told the House that the girl was being given free medical care at the Kozhikode medical college hospital. The girl, he said, had not complained of rape. When she resisted the assailant's attempt to molest her, he poured kerosene on her body and set her on fire. She had suffered 40 per cent burns. The police have registered a case for attempt to murder against the assailant, he added.

Mr. Jayarajan described the incident as heinous and asked the Government to take serious view of the issue and nab the assailant.

He also sought financial assistance for the girl.

He described the incident as the fallout of the lax manner in which law and order was being maintained in the State.