Fear of defamation leads family to admit sexually assaulted child in mental asylum to hush up crime
As a new study observed that POCSO crimes have been on the rise in Kerala, an incident wherein a 12-year-old minor who was sexually assaulted by a family member was kept in a mental asylum to hush up the crime, has come to light. The victim was virtually kidnapped and admitted to a mental asylum in a bid to pressurize the child and project her as mentally deranged.
The child, who was under the protection of the rescue home, was taken away by her relatives after she went to school to write her annual exam. Proving her as mentally deranged and weakening the credibility of her statement has also, reportedly been attempted.
The carelessness of the Malappuram police in the case is what is extremely disturbing. The child who had in March, informed the school counselor about the abuse was not provided with any legal help, but instead, the authorities informed her family members who hushed up the crime. Despite this, another attempt to assault her was made which is when she decided to seek Childline’s assistance that presented her before the Child Welfare Council and shifted her to the care centre.
After she went missing from the exam hall, a volunteer who had accompanied the child lodged a complaint but the police delayed action and finally adopted the stand that since the child has reached home, the claim wouldn’t hold weight.
The child was returned to the centre only after five days as the police informed the rescue home authorities about her admission in the asylum by her own family and the state Child Welfare Council approached the higher police officials to take prompt action.
While the accused are still at large, an attempt to get her under the family’s custody was made by approached the High Court but it didn’t work in their favour and the child was sent back to the rescue home.
Investigation in the matter has been taken up but the police officers who had allegedly, delayed action in the case even after being informed about the child’s disappearance are still holding office and have not yet been disciplined.