According to police reports, a minor girl in Pandikkad in Malappuram was sexually assaulted 31 times in the last five years. Four people had raped the 17-year-old minor while she was 13, following which the police registered a POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) case against the accused. The authorities shifted the girl to Manjeri Nirbhaya Home.
The child was released six months later to relatives, but during a counselling session a year later, the girl revealed that she had been abused again. Following reports that the child was not safe at home, the Child Welfare Committee decided to move the child to the Nirbhaya Home. This, however, did not secure the child.
A few months later, the child was released to relatives based on a report filed by the Child Protection Office. During a follow-up counselling session, the child reported that she was raped again. She told counsellors that various people had raped her 31 times in five years. Following the statement, police have registered 31 POCSO cases,
A lack of professionalism is obvious in the investigation of POCSO cases over the years. As per data compiled by the Kerala Police, they had registered 1,746 cases in the state till July 2020. Malappuram district topped the list with 228 cases, followed by Thiruvananthapuram (204 cases) and Palakkad (159 cases). According to reports, the number of POCSO cases has been on a rise in Kerala since 2016.
However, POCSO is misused for personal vendetta as well. Recently, police arrested a woman following a complaint that she had allegedly sexually abused her son. The arrest was based on the child’s statement. However, her younger son told officials that their father had supposedly coerced his brother into giving such a statement against their mother. The woman’s parents have also alleged that she was framed for objecting her husband’s remarriage.