Rape-murder victim's family faces eviction

Rape-murder victim's family faces eviction
For the family of a seven-year-old girl, who was raped and murdered last week at Kulathupuzha in Kollam district, the ordeal appears to have only started.

Three days after the child’s body was found in a rubber estate in Kulathupuzha, her mother and other family members have been reportedly forced out of their home at Eroor in Anchal taluk, by local residents.

The villagers claimed that the women in the family were engaged in “immoral activities” that led to the child’s murder. Police have arrested Rajesh (38), who was in a relationship with the child’s aunt and was living with the family, in connection with the murder. Facing criticism for reportedly choosing to watch public outrage from the sidelines, the police refuted reports of apathy.

While confirming that there were protests against the family over the way they lived, the police said their (the family’s) decision to shift to Kilimanoor in Thiruvananthapuram was a voluntary one. “There were protests but the decision to temporarily relocate was the family’s. They will come back; their statements have to be recorded as part of the investigation,” Kollam Rural District Police chief B Asokan told DH.

The child’s mother and grandparents, aunt and her two children were forced to leave their home by protesting neighbours.

The victim’s mother told reporters that she was not allowed to even have a look at her child’s body. Following the protests, the girl’s body was shifted to her estranged father’s home, where she was buried. The mother said some of the villagers also assaulted the family. The Kerala Women’s Commission initiated action in connection with the incident. The commission said security for the family would be ensured.

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