Kerala

Childline-police standoff to the fore in Edappal case

The child abuse case at Edappal here took a further turn on Wednesday when the officer in charge of the investigation was shunted out and the case was handed over to Crime Branch. District Crime Records Bureau Dy.SP Shaji Varghese, who was in charge of the case, was on Wednesday transferred out of Malappuram after the arrest of cinema hall owner Satheesh on POCSO charges invited ire from many quarters.

The case had brought to sharp focus a stand-off between the Childline and the police in the district. Sources in Childline and the police said the developments in the case smacked of pressure from vested interests to blow it out of proportion. The Childline too is facing criticism from stakeholders involved in the care of children for failing its basic duty of “rescuing” the abused child while focussing on exposing the accused.

The failure of the Childline to alert the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) about the incident even after it filed a complaint with the police too has come under criticism. The child was allowed to be with her mother for many days even after the accused was identified and it was found that she was not safe with her mother. Any potential abuse could have been averted had the CWC been alerted, it was pointed out.

It was during the evening show of a movie on April 18 that a businessman from Thrithala, named Moideen Kutty, 60, was found to have abused a minor girl inside Govinda Theatre, Edappal.

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2020 5:27:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/childline-police-standoff-to-the-fore-in-edappal-case/article24098539.ece

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