Kerala

Special police team to probe Instagram drug-sex racket

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A special police investigation team has been constituted with the support of the District Anti-Narcotics Special Action Force (DANSAF) to nab the absconding members involved in drugging and raping a 14-year-old girl in the district.

District Police Chief Sujith Das S. said the police were using all their resources to pin those involved in the crime. Two of them were arrested and five others were at large. “We hope to nab them all in a day or two,” said Mr. Das.

He said the police were dealing with the case with utmost seriousness and importance, especially as Malappuram was ahead of other districts in the number of POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act) cases.

Deputy Superintendent of Police, Tanur, will lead the special team.

The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) on Wednesday handed over the victim for medical examination. The girl will have to undergo several tests, including HIV test, as no less than seven people were involved in abusing her over the last several months.

CWC chairman Shajesh Bhaksar said the life of the girl would be at risk as long as the culprits were at large. “It would not have been a shocking incident had it happened in a metropolis. Drugging and raping a school girl repeatedly in a village after accosting her through Instagram is certainly a matter of grave concern,” said Mr. Bhaskar.

It was the Childline that rescued the girl and brought to light the drug-and-sex racket involved in trapping school girls after accosting them through Instagram. Several girls are feared to have been abused by the racket.

Meanwhile, Childline officials said that plans were afoot to reach out to the parents with awareness programmes about social media hazards. Incapability of certain parents in detecting behaviour changes in their children and monitoring their use of mobile phones were said to be a major cause for worry.

“Making parents aware of the dangers of the cyber world has become the need of the hour. We are chalking out awareness programmes in the wake of the enhanced use of mobile phones by students after the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Childline coordinator Anwar Karakkadan and counsellor Muhsin Pari.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 8:11:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/special-police-team-to-probe-instagram-drug-sex-racket/article33925746.ece

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