Probe ordered into allegations against Kochi city police

District Police Chief (Kochi City) H. Nagaraju has ordered a probe into the allegations levelled by a migrant family that the city police had demanded a bribe to release their five children, and foisted bogus cases on three sons of sexually abusing their sister.

The incident pertains to the missing of two daughters, one a minor, of the migrant family settled in Pachalam, in August.

A team from the Kochi city police had traced the girls to Delhi with the help of the local police. “We had initially registered a missing case but later converted it into a case of abduction and rape after it emerged that she was sexually exploited by a man whom she had acquainted during the train journey, at a lodge in Delhi. During her medical examination in a hospital in Delhi she made the startling revelation to the medical officer that she was sexually abused by her three brothers since she was a minor. Following this, we registered another case under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act,” said Mr. Nagaraju.

The accused along with the two girls were then brought to Kochi after which the brothers were summoned and they allegedly confessed to the crime. “The girl repeated the allegations about her brothers in a sworn statement before the magistrate under Section 164 of CrPC following which the two brothers were produced before the court and remanded while the minor brother was produced before the Juvenile Justice Board. The girls were sent to a child protection home,” said Mr. Nagaraju. The two remain remanded and the bail plea of the elder brother remains pending before the court.

Bribery allegations

However, the migrant parents alleged that the police had let off one of the accused who sexually abused their daughter in Delhi and that their sons were foisted with bogus cases. They also alleged that an assistant sub inspector then attached to the North police had sought a bribe of ₹5 lakh.

The terms of reference of the probe will include these allegations. “The other man was contacted by the accused for arranging rooms and had no knowledge about anything else. We have arrested everyone there needs to be arrested,” said Mr. Nagaraju.

ASI Vinod Krishna, against whom the parents had raised the allegations, said that the girl had levelled the allegations against brothers before the medical officer in Delhi and later before the magistrate, a counsellor in Aluva and during the medical examination at General Hospital in Kochi. He said that the girl and the accused were tracked down after hopping through four police station limits in Delhi.

Child Welfare Committee Ernakulam Chairperson Bitty Joseph said that the two girls were given shelter as per the Juvenile Justice Act. “The sisters had evinced interest to be together and they keep on vacillating when it comes to going back to their home. However, since the family members are being accused as perpetrators, there are legal impediments to sending them back home,” she said.

Mr. Nagaraju also shot down the allegations that the police had collected the flight fare to Delhi for investigation from the parents.

Meanwhile, the migrant parents reiterated the bribery allegations and that their boys are being implicated by the police under coercion. An investigation by senior officials will expose the truth, the father said.

The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has registered a suo motu case. Commission Chairman K.V. Manoj has sought reports from the District Child Protection Officer, North police station House Officer, and the District Police Chief (Kochi City) by November 3.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 10:04:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/probe-ordered-into-allegations-against-kochi-city-police/article36987122.ece

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