KERALA

Minor girl `abducted' in Thrissur

THRISSUR, MARCH 24. A 14-year-old girl studying in Class IX has allegedly been abducted by a group of four persons on the pretext of giving her a chance to act in a television serial. According to a complaint filed by her parents hailing from Chathakudam, near here, the girl was abducted on March 11. Her parents are yet to receive any information on her whereabouts.

At a press conference here today, the girl's parents said their daughter, who had won several prizes at school-level arts competitions, had acted in the serial `Minnukettu' and starred in a music album. The four persons had come to their house and introduced themselves as the director, executive and crew members of a new television serial.

The girl, accompanied by her parents, went with them to purchase dresses. The girl was abducted from the Paramekkavu temple area in the city where she had come on March 11 with her father under the directive of the television serial group. The girl was to arrive at a shooting location in Valappad in the district.

The group diverted the attention of the father and sent him to a nearby place to collect her remuneration for acting in the serial. However, when he came back, the girl and the crew were found missing. The parents said they had approached the Ollur police the next day and requested the officials to trace their daughter. But the officials directed them to the Town East police station as the crime had occurred in the city.

The parents alleged that the Town East police had registered the case only on March 18. According to them, some of the police officials were showing leniency towards the accused.

The Town Circle Inspector, Shahul Hameed, however, told presspersons in the evening that the police had already nabbed Sreejith, 23 of Attuveppil Veedu, Mulayam Road, Mannuthy, near here. They said an intense search is on to trace the others and the girl.

He said that the Sub-Inspector had delayed the registering of the case till March 18 on a request by the parents. They were worried that a case, if registered, would affect the future of their daughter.

Special team

"The police have set up a special team to investigate the case and efforts are on to probe all the dimensions of the case," the Circle Inspector said. He, however, conceded that the Ollur police themselves could have registered the case since the complainants hail from that area. The Circle Inspector gave the names of two other accused as Sangeeth, 27, and Biju, 23, both hailing from Puzhamballam Biju is an accused in two murder cases and Sangeeth is an accused in a theft case.

The police have found that the three accused have nothing to do with television serial production. The parents said they had already sent representations to the Chief Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Director General of Police seeking their help to trace the girl. According to the parents, one Sanish is also involved in the case. But the police said they were yet to get the details of his involvement in the case. The leaders of the All India Democratic Women's Association were present at the press conference. The AIYF today took out a march in the city in protest against the abduction of the girl. The CPI leader Meenakshi Thampan inaugurated the public meeting held after the march.

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