The police on Friday arrested Girish, an ex-serviceman who was absconding for nearly a month, on the charge of sexually abusing a minor girl hailing from Thayannur, near Kanhangad.

Girish was arrested from Ambalathara by a police team led by Hosdurg Circle Inspector K.V. Venugopal.

The police had in December arrested seven persons, including a labourer hailing from Assam, in connection with the alleged sexual abuse of the class 9 student.

The girl, who belongs to a Scheduled Caste, had been sexually abused for the past one year, senior police officials said. The incident came to light when the girl revealed all to her classmate who, in turn, informed their class teacher. The school informed Childline volunteers, who later took the girl from her residence. The girl lived with her mother who did manual chores at a nearby hotel.

A complaint was lodged with the Ambalathara police. The girl told the investigating officials that she had been exploited for the past one year by the accused who took her to various places. She said they had threatened her with dire consequences if she confided in her mother or anyone else.