Special Correspondent

Also involved in murdering a four-year-old girl last year

The accused also stole the mobile phone of the girl’s father

Calls traced after accused gave handset to user

TAMBARAM: Kelambakkam police on Sunday arrested a 25-year-old man on charges of sexually abusing a five-year-old girl earlier this month. The youth, S. Anand, had also raped and murdered a four-year-old girl in Semmanchery in September last year and had committed many offences on women, police said.

Briefing reporters at the Kelambakkam police station on Sunday, Prem Anand Sinha, Superintendent of Police, Kancheepuram district, said that on July 5, the five-year-old daughter whose parents are construction workers, was found unconscious amidst bushes a little away from their hut in the workers’ quarters in Egattur village on Old Mamallapuram Road.

The parents took their daughter to a private hospital and after first aid, took her to the Children’s Hospital in Egmore. They did not approach the police or lodge a complaint, but the Kelambakkam police registered a case after they received information a couple of days later.

Mr. Sinha said that the accused, while abducting the girl from her house, also stole her father’s mobile phone lying nearby. The police were trying to monitor calls from the phone, but no calls were made from it with the Subscribed Identity Module (SIM) card of the girl’s father. Hence, they began to track the handset’s International Mobile Equipment Identification (IMEI) number. Some days later, they were able to trace calls made from the same handset, but from a different SIM card.

They were able to trace the location of the caller to Sadurangapattinam and a police team, headed by B. Balachandran, Inspector of Police, Kelambakkam, rushed to the spot and detained the caller, who told police that he had received the handset from Anand. Based on his descriptions, the police launched a manhunt and picked up Anand from Kazhipattur, which comes under the Kelambakkam police station limits.

Mr. Sinha said that in the meantime, police teams were collecting information on instances of sexual abuse of young girls when they came to know about the rape and murder of a four-year-old girl in Semmanchery coming under the Thoraipakkam police station limits in September last year which remained unsolved.

During interrogations, the suspect was reported to have confessed to the crime committed on the five-year-old girl on July 5 and also to the rape and murder last year.

The youth targeted women, including staff at the Primary Health Centre in Kelambakkam, and would snatch gold chains from them. He had also indulged in house break-ins on several occasions. Gold jewels weighing nearly 20 sovereigns were recovered from him.

The Kelambakkam police said Anand would either consume or inhale substances like wood varnish or paper whiteners and when inebriated, he would target young girls and assault them sexually. In last year’s rape and murder, he gagged the girl’s mouth, took her to a desolate spot before committing the gruesome crime.

So far, he had remained elusive and police had no clue to his identity. Mr. Sinha said that tracing the IMEI number was the clinching evidence that helped police nab Anand. Born to daily-wage earners in a lower-middle-class family in Sadurangapattinam, Anand has three sisters and a brother. P. Sambandamurthy, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mamallapuram sub-division, was also present.