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Multiple POCSO case victim commits suicide in Kerala, family alleges she was being pressurised to withdraw the cases

The mother of the victim has accused the police of not providing any support or counselling even after she reported them a few attempts of suicide the girl had committed earlier.

An 18-year-old rape survivor has committed suicide by hanging herself while being alone at her rented home in the Malappuram district of Kerala. After noticing her hanging inside, the girl’s family broke into the house and took her to the hospital where she was declared dead. This incident happened on Wednesday 19th January 2022.

The mother of the victim has accused the police of not providing any support and counselling to the girl even after she reported to the police about a few attempts of suicide the girl had made earlier. The girl used to live in a rented house with her mother and brother. She was a survivor in multiple cases under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences). She was raped by six men including relatives two years back.

The mother had also alleged that her daughter was under pressure from police to change her statement, as the cops were trying to protect the culprits. She further that her relatives had also pressurised them to withdraw complaints against the culprits.

It is reported that she was alone at home when her mother had gone outside with the girl’s brother on Wednesday morning. When she came back she found her daughter to be hanging inside the house. The mother of the girl said “No one supported me to raise my children. I informed officials that my daughter often tries to cut her veins and swallow some pills to commit suicide. Yet, no one helped my daughter with counselling. I also asked the officials to take my daughter to some shelter homes. They have never listened to my plea. The police were never helpful.” She also underlined that there was continuous pressure from relatives to withdraw complaints against the culprits. The funeral of the girl was held on Thursday afternoon.

Not just police, even the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) also failed to take any action after the sexual abuse of the minor girl was reported. Women’s rights activist Usha Punathi said that the CWC is responsible to keep the Pocso survivors in a safe place, which was not done in this case. She added that the district child protection officer also failed to visit the house of the girl regularly to ensure that she is safe there.

In 2021, five cases were registered in the Feroke police station in connection with multiple instances of sexual assault against the girl. A case was also registered in the Kondotty police station in Malappuram. The information about this sexual abuse case had become public after the officials with Childline Kozhikode counselled the girl. According to the Feroke police, seven out of the eight culprits have been arrested so far. Meanwhile, the child welfare committee and the police are facing criticism and protest after the suicide.

BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla has tweeted “In Kerala, a gang rape survivor dies by suicide following callousness of the government. The girl’s mother slammed government officials and the police for failing to support the survivor. Lobby however will not visit Kerala as this doesn’t suit them.”

However, Feroke ACP has said that the police had written to the child welfare committee to provide counselling to the girl and the committee had provided the same.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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