Thiruvananthapuram: Following a mind-numbing video showing hours of abuse of a 10-year-old girl in a cinema in Kerala’s Malappuram district, police have taken into custody two adults accused in the case, one of them the girl’s mother.
The incident was reported from Edappal, where a businessman and the girl’s mother were seen entering the cinema and for the entire duration of the movie the man abused the girl, who was seen sitting shocked at what was happening.
The entire act was recorded on the closed circuit cameras in the cinema. The incident came to public knowledge only after a Malayalam television channel reported it.
Equally shocking was the fact that the incident had occurred on April 18. The police are being accused of failing to file charges against the businessman apparently because he was an influential persons. In the video, the man is seen to be arriving and leaving in a Mercedes Benz car.
It was only after the matter was referred to the Child Line authorities and a television channel brought it to public notice that the police pressed charges against the man.
The accused businessman has been identified as Kankunnathu Moideenkutty, 60, a native of Thrithala. From the visuals it is evident that the abuse happened with the tacit approval of the child’s mother.
On social media, one person commented that this was the most cruelly ironic news one could read on Mothers’ Day.
Police have charged the duo under various provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act.
Moideenkutty is said to own shops retailing silver jewellery in Shoranur near Thrissur, and in the Middle East. He also has interests in the realty business. The abused girl’s mother reportedly has two older daughters.
Police suspect that the child may have been subject to abuse earlier, too. The child has since been moved to a rescue home.
Moideenkutty was taken into custody on Saturday. Police began questioning the child’s mother on Sunday, and they will also take a statement from the child.
The state women’s commission chairperson M.C. Josephine congratulated the cinema owner for informing the police about the incident.
For his failure to act promptly despite being tipped off, the Changaramkulam sub inspector of police, K.J. Baby has been suspended from service by the Thrissur range inspector general of police, M.K. Ajith Kumar.