Abuse of minor girl caught on movie hall camera, man arrested

Abuse of minor girl caught on movie hall camera, man arrested

The suspect allegedly abused the minor girl inside a cinema in Edappal, Kerala, during an evening screening, on April 18. Representative photo

Police on Saturday detained a man in connection with the alleged sexual abuse of a minor girl in a movie hall in Malappuram district. Preliminary reports said the middle-aged suspect was taken into custody from Palakkad district.

The suspect allegedly abused the girl – aged about 10 years – inside a cinema in Edappal, during an evening screening, on April 18. He arrived at the cinema with the child and a woman and was seated between the two. Visuals recorded on a camera installed in the hall showed the man sexually abusing the child with what appeared to be consent of the woman.

The theatre authorities, on April 25, handed over the video footage to the district Childline officials, who forwarded it to Changaramkulam police on April 26. It is alleged that the police initiated action only on Saturday after a television channel reported the abuse. Late in the evening, police detained the suspect, identified as a businessman from Thrithala in Palakkad.

Police Inaction

Malappuram district Childline coordinator Anwar Karakkadan said the police did not respond for two weeks. “Almost all through the footage, the man is seen molesting the child. He also engages in sexual acts with the woman. She appears aware of what he’s doing with the child but doesn’t act,” Anwar told DH. The registration number of the vehicle the suspect arrived in at the cinema was also forwarded to the police.

“The relationship between the woman and the child has not been established. Since this falls under the scope of the Pocso (Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences) Act, the victim has to be presented before the child welfare committee and she has to undergo counselling,” Anwar said.

Protests were reported from Malappuram against alleged police inaction after the incident was reported. The Kerala State Human Rights Commission ordered action against the erring police officials.

Commission acting chairperson P Mohanadas directed the Malappuram District Police chief to investigate the incident and submit a report within three weeks.