A minor girl was sexually assaulted in a thatched shed at Peruvalanallur near Lalgudi on Thursday night.

Police have arrested the accused - M. Ramachandran (27), a resident of Peruvalanallur, on the charge of sexually assaulting the 12-year-old girl on a complaint from the victim’s father R. Palanivel, also of Peruvalanallur.

According to police sources, Ramachandran went to Palanivel’s house when the latter was engaged in cooking.

Upon learning from Palanivel that he could not complete cooking as the firewood used for that purpose had got wet owing to rains, Ramachandran offered to provide a stove from his house. Believing the word of Ramachandran, Palanivel sent his daughter to the former’s house located nearby.

An anxious Palanivel went in search of his daughter to the house of Ramachandran after she failed to return back only to be told by the brother of the accused that the girl had not come to their residence. While continuing his search, Palanivel found Ramachandran sexually assaulting his daughter in a thatched shed nearby after gagging the minor girl, the sources said. The accused escaped from the spot after noticing Palanivel. The sources said the locals caught Ramachandran and handed him over to the police on Friday. The Lalgudi All Women Police has registered a case under Section 376 (rape) read with Sections 7 and 8 of Protection of Child from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. The girl has been sent for a medical examination to Tiruchi GH, sources added.