Main accused in Coimbatore gang-rape surrenders in court

Manikandan’s mother claims he was preparing for police selection examination

P. Manikandan,30, the suspected main accused in the gang-rape of a class XI girl in Coimbatore, surrendered before the Mahila Court-cum-Special Court for Children on Tuesday afternoon.

His mother claimed that he was preparing for police selection examinations and was associated with the Friends of Police (FoP).

However, office-bearers of the FoP denied that the accused was a member of the voluntary group.

Judicial custody

Sessions Judge J. Radhika remanded Manikandan in judicial custody till December 17.

Manikandan and five others have been accused of gang-raping the girl after assaulting her male friend outside a park in Seeranaickenpalayam in Coimbatore on November 26.

The men had also allegedly photographed the acts.

The incident took place when the girl and her 19-year-old friend came out of the park after celebrating her birthday around 8.30 p.m.

Manikandan’s mother claimed that he prepared for police selection examinations after completing plus two.

A senior police officer privy to the investigation also confirmed that Manikandan was aspiring to become a policeman.

According to the woman, whose husband passed away a few years ago, her son did not assault the minor girl sexually, but he admitted to “questioning her” for being in the park with her male friend in the late hours and slapping her on the face.

She claimed that the girl levelled false charges against Manikandan and others because of this incident.

‘No link with FoP’

S. Senthilkumar, FoP coordinator in Coimbatore, said nobody named Manikandan from Seeranaickenpalayam was associated with the community policing initiative.

While four accused, T. Rahul, 21, R. Prakash, 22, S. Karthikeyan, 28, and S. Narayanamurthy, 30, from Seeranaickenpalayam were arrested on Sunday, Manikandan surrendered on Tuesday.

The other accused Karthik aka ‘Puffs’ Karthi of Vadavalli is absconding.

Police said the accused were booked under Sections 5(u) (whoever commits penetrative sexual assault on a child and makes the child to strip or parade naked in public, is said to commit aggravated penetrative sexual assault), 6 (punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault), 9(g) (whoever commits gang sexual assault on a child), 10 (punishment for aggravated sexual assault), 13 (use of child for pornographic purposes), 14 (punishment for using child for pornographic purposes) and 17 (punishment for abetment) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 506 (ii) (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

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