Police submit forensic report in Chennai serial rapist case

Published on Aug 17, 2022 12:48 AM IST

Perumal, 48, was arrested on charges of raping girls and filming them during a crackdown on “gutka” and tobacco products in Chennai in August last year.

In the 2021 Chennai serial rapist case, city police have submitted before a special Pocso court what they believe is a crucial piece of evidence -- a forensic report on data of accused A Perumal’s mobile phone. (Representative Photo)
In the 2021 Chennai serial rapist case, city police have submitted before a special Pocso court what they believe is a crucial piece of evidence -- a forensic report on data of accused A Perumal’s mobile phone. (Representative Photo)
By, Chennai

In the 2021 Chennai serial rapist case, city police have submitted before a special Pocso court what they believe is a crucial piece of evidence -- a forensic report on data of accused A Perumal’s mobile phone.

Perumal, 48, was arrested on charges of raping girls and filming them during a crackdown on “gutka” and tobacco products in Chennai in August last year.

While police were cracking down on “gutka” (a banned chewing tobacco) sales, they nabbed a shopkeeper in Chennai’s TP Chatram for selling the substance. While police were checking his phone for dealers, so they could catch more people, they stumbled upon an even more serious case of him sexually assaulting girls.

They found that he had saved recorded clips over the past seven years.

Police acted swiftly and rescued seven children. They also booked the shopkeepers, Perumal, on charges of rapeing girls aged between 4 and 17 and filming them. Two of the children’s mothers, who are sisters, are the other two accused in the case, charged with abetting the crime. They had confessed to taking their minor daughters to him in exchange for money.

The case is now in the trial stage at a special city court for the protection of children from sexual offences (Pocso) cases.

“We had sent his Apple phone to a lab in Chennai for forensic analysis and a report has been submitted. All the photos and videos from the phone have been submitted in a pen drive to the court,” said an investigating officer, not wishing to be named. “The court will now have to decide with all this evidence if it was the accused who recorded the girls,” the officer said.

A senior police officer from Kilpauk police station said they had found several video clips of sexual assault of minors. “The main accused is wearing a specific watch in these videos. This will dismiss his claim that he had just downloaded child pronography,” the officer said.

The charge sheet was filed last year. Of the seven children rescued, five girls whose parents were unaware of the crime took them home with them.

Two of the girls, whose mothers were arrested, were sent to the city’s Child Welfare Committee (CWC). “But recently the CWC sent these two girls back to their parents because they weren’t coping well. They kept crying to go back home so the CWC is working closely with their fathers and their families,” said another police officer of Kilpauk police station.

The three accused - Perumal and the two mothers - are lodged in Chennai’s Puzhal prison. They have been booked under several sections of the POCSO Act– 5 (l) (m) (aggravated penetrative sexual assault), 9 (l) (m) (committing aggravated penetrative sexual assault repeatedly), 10 (punishment for aggravated sexual assault), 13 (use of child for pornographic purposes), 14 (punishment for using children for pornography) 15 (Any person, who stores or possesses pornographic material in any form involving a child), 16 and 17 (abetment of offence). The three accused have also been charged under section 376 AB (raping a child under 12 years of age) under the IPC and 66 E (whoever captures, publishes or transmits the image of a private area of any person) of the IT Act.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Divya Chandrababu is an award-winning political and human rights journalist based in Chennai, India. Divya is presently Assistant Editor of the Hindustan Times where she covers Tamil Nadu & Puducherry. She started her career as a broadcast journalist at NDTV-Hindu where she anchored and wrote prime time news bulletins. Later, she covered politics, development, mental health, child and disability rights for The Times of India. Divya has been a journalism fellow for several programs including the Asia Journalism Fellowship at Singapore and the KAS Media Asia- The Caravan for narrative journalism. Divya has a master's in politics and international studies from the University of Warwick, UK. As an independent journalist Divya has written for Indian and foreign publications on domestic and international affairs.

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