Tamil Nadu

Girl tied to pole, beaten up


A 13-year-old school-going girl was dragged from her house, tied to an electricity pole for three hours before being beaten up by a group of villagers, who accused her of stealing money on Thursday evening.

The girl, a resident of Pattuvanpatti in Palur near Madhanur, was beaten up using sticks even as many villagers and her relatives stood as mute spectators.

Kavitha (name changed), a student of class VIII, was staying in the village with her grandmother, Nallathaiamma, and father, Ramesh, as her mother Karpagam, was working in a garment unit in Bengaluru.

On Thursday morning, Kavitha had gone to attend a marriage with a villager, Priya. “When we were returning, she asked me to hold a bag containing clothes when she went to attend nature’s call. At about 6.30 p.m., Priya and her relatives came home and told that some cash was missing from the bag. They dragged me out of the house even though I kept telling them that I did not take the money,” Kavitha recalled.

Officials of the District Child Protection Office, who visited the village following the incident, said Priya’s relatives claimed that Kavitha had stolen Rs. 2,200 from the bag. Priya, who was working in a shoe factory, had noticed that the money was missing after returning from work on Thursday evening.

The girl was dragged for at least half a kilometre and tied to an electricity pole close to Priya’s house in the village using a rope. “A number of men and women, all Priya’s relatives, started to beat me. They used sticks too, and left me tied to the pole till 9.30 p.m. when one of her relatives came and untied me. Many persons just stood there watching and no one even tried to help me,” Kavitha said.

In fact, her grandmother preferred not to intervene when she was roughed up, while her father, a daily wage labourer, who returned home at 8.30 p.m. said he was not aware of the incident until Friday morning. “What can I, an elderly woman, do when there were so many people?” Nallathaiamma asked.

Kavitha’s mother Karpagam, on being informed by a relative, rushed home from Bengaluru at 1.30 a.m. “I went to the house of the persons who roughed up my daughter. About 10 women surrounded me and spoke rudely. They asked me to return the money,” she said.

Team visits village

On Friday, officials of the District Child Protection Office visited the village and conducted an inquiry with the girl, her family members and villagers. They received information about the incident through ChildLine at midnight.

A team comprising M. Nishandhini, district child protection officer, Sangeeth, protection officer, Kumaresan, social worker and Amirthavalli, Child Welfare Committee member conducted inquiry. Ms. Nishandhini said they would be handing over the girl to the Child Welfare Committee. She said that Ambur police said they would also book a case in this regard, she added.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 1:31:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/Girl-tied-to-pole-beaten-up/article14631060.ece

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