Police took bribe to register case, says T.N. rape-murder victim’s father

Published : November 13, 2018 19:09 IST

Yet another gruesome incident of rape and murder, this time of a 16-year-old tribal girl, was reported in a village in Tamil Nadu. A few weeks earlier, a 13-year-old Dalit girl was hacked to death near Attur in Salem district after she spurned the advances of her neighbour, a non-Dalit.

Two youths raped the tribal girl, a class XI student, at Chipling village of Harur taluk in Dharmapuri district, on November 5. The girl, belonging to the Boyar caste, the lowest among the tribal groups, died in hospital five days later.

The youths, Sathish (22) and Ramesh (22), are from the same village. While Satish is a tribal boy, Ramesh’s mother is a tribal and father is a Vanniyar (a most backward caste). The youths had been stalking the girl for some time. The girl, who was studying in a residential school in Pappireddipatti town, came to her village on November 5 to celebrate Deepavali. When she went out to attend nature’s call, the youths pounced on her and, after gagging her, allegedly raped her.

A village resident found her in the field and informed her parents, both farm labourers. The Kottapatti police was alerted, but they asked the parents to bring the girl in person for enquiry the same day. They also received a complaint.  On November 6, the police called them again for further enquiry. “After taking a bribe of Rs.6,000, they registered a case,” said the girl’s father.

The police initially registered a complaint under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Instead of getting a detailed medical examination done, they took her to the Harur Taluk Government Hospital where she reportedly underwent a few tests. Later, they took her to Dharmapuri where they lodged her at a home approved by the Child Welfare Committee. Sources in the home claimed that the girl was brought in a “traumatised, weak and profusely bleeding” condition.

On November 7, she complained of nausea and breathing difficulties, and her bleeding had not stopped. The home authorities, accompanied by her parents, admitted her to the Dharmapuri Government Medical College and Hospital. According to one of her relatives, all mandated clinical tests were carried out. But she developed complications on the morning of November 10 and died. 

Agitated over the tardy police investigation, residents of the village and the girl’s relatives staged a protest and refused to accept the body. Dharmapuri District Collector S. Malarvizhi promised them a fair inquiry. Subsequently, the Kottapatti police Inspector, Muthukrishnan, was removed from the investigation, while a revised FIR, incorporating a few more sections from the Indian Penal Code, was filed.

Meanwhile, Sathish was arrested from Yercaud, a hill station near Salem, on November 11, while Ramesh surrendered the next day before a Salem court.  Further investigation is on.

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