Tamil Nadu

Minors made to falsify their testimonies by accused: police

Headmaster, Special Public Prosecutor booked for threatening victims

The Sivaganga district police have booked a headmaster, Murugan, accused in a case of sexual assault of minors, and the Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) of Mahila Court, Indira Gandhi, for reportedly threatening the victims to give false evidence in the court, in favour of the accused.

The headmaster was arrested and remanded in judicial custody, following complaints from the girls.

Meanwhile, the district police have sought permission from the Mahila Court for a retrial of the case, as all victims had turned hostile due to “pressure” from the accused. The All-Women Police Station, Sivaganga, on February 8, booked them under two more Sections of the IPC for causing disappearance of evidence and criminal intimidation, and under provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

2015 incident

Murugan, who was the headmaster of a panchayat union primary school, had allegedly sexually assaulted six minors on the school premises in 2015.

Since he had threatened them with dire consequences, the children did not report the series of sexual assaults to their parents. When one of the girls complained of pain in her private parts, the grandmother enquired. She then told her the truth. It was after this that a police complaint was lodged.

Murugan was arrested under provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

During a routine review of pending cases last year, Superintendent of Police R. Rohit Nathan was told that the case could end up in acquittal of the accused. “When I found that all the children had turned hostile, we probed into it further and were shocked to find that the children had been threatened and coerced into not giving any evidence against the headmaster,” the SP said.

The police found that the SPP had facilitated a meeting between the accused and the children and had also threatened the victims.

“We have registered a case against them for threatening to give false evidence based on a complaint from three of the six victims of sexual abuse,” a police officer said.

In her complaint, one of the girls claimed that she was not aware of the consequences of falsifying in the court and had realised her mistake only after growing up.

All cases in the Mahila Court, relating to Ms. Indira Gandhi, that ended in acquittal, would also be reviewed.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 11:34:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/headmaster-special-public-prosecutor-booked-for-threatening-victims/article30936615.ece

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