The Kerala police on Tuesday arrested six people who allegedly assaulted seven minor girls of an orphanage in Kalpetta in north Kerala’s Wayanad district. The latest incident comes on the heels of the arrest of a priest in the district for raping a minor girl who later gave birth to baby in a private hospital.
The latest incident unfolded Monday evening when the security guard of the orphanage found a girl in tears coming out of a shop near the Yatheem Khan orphanage. An inquiry revealed that many students of the orphanage in the 12-16 age group were lured by a gang into the shop and subjected to abuse for more than four months, police said.
According to initial reports, the girls were lured by the gang on their way to school. They were offered sweets and forced to watch pornographic clips before being subjected to abuse. They were threatened with serious repercussions if they complained. The police sent all girls to medical examination on Monday night and tests later confirmed sexual assault.
Three more accused are absconding. All accused would be charged under the protection of children from sexual offices act. All children of the orphanage would be counselled to find out whether more girls have undergone similar experience, police said.
“Eleven cases were filed and more arrests will be made in coming days,” Wayanad superintendent of police Rajpal Meena said.
The latest incident has surfaced even before the state has recovered from the shock of a rape by a priest.
“It is yet another blot on the state. All child abuse cases should be fast-tracked and guilty will be given deterrent punishment,” said Mahila Congress leader Bindhu Krishna. Former MP TN Seema asked the government to constitute a special investigation team to probe the latest incident.
“The shocking incident is part of a big racket. The girls’ photos and videos were taken to blackmail them. A thorough probe is needed to bring all guilty to justice,” Kannur MP PK Sreemathi told reporters after visiting the orphanage on Tuesday.