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Police erred in Dhaka girl’s case: rights’ forum

STAFF REPORTER

The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has decided to initiate strong action against the police officers found responsible for remanding a minor sexual assault victim from Dhaka in judicial custody, on charge of unauthorised stay in the district. The incident happened in May this year.

The commission also criticised the police for not probing the case properly to trace the suspected flesh traders in Kerala who reportedly abused the girl.

The child rights’ forum decided to take up the issue after verifying the age proof of the minor girl, who was reportedly abused by flesh traders in Kerala.

Birth certificate

In the birth certificate received after several months of the arrest, it was found that the girl was only 16.

The police officers who made the arrest on May 12 had then claimed that the girl was 20 years old.

They then produced her in a court without waiting for the verification of birth certificate or any other reliable record.

Serious case

Nazeer Chaliyam, acting chairman of the panel, told The Hindu here on Sunday that the child rights’ commission would treat the issue seriously, as the girl was forced to stay in jail for long months.

“We will consider the case in the next sitting on December 5. We have also sought a report from the Jail Superintendent,” he said.

It was on May 12 that the Thamarassery police took the girl into custody following a suspicion that she was staying in the district without proper documents.

In the police investigation, it was found that the girl had no relevant documents to prove that her stay was legal.

Medical test

In a later medical test conducted at the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital, the girl was also found pregnant.

The child rights’ commission said that the police should have investigated the incident and traced the suspected flesh traders involved in the incident.

Unlawful stay

Instead, the police officials arrested the girl in the name of unlawful stay in the country.

The police officials who were asked to find the actual age of the victim by verifying reliable documents also failed to do it properly, the commission said.

Juvenile home

Following the official confirmation of the age of the minor girl, she has been moved to the juvenile home at Vellimadukunnu.

Arrangements have also been made to offer the girl better protection, as she is pregnant now.

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