Parents push Kerala teen to flesh trade

Parents push Kerala teen to flesh trade

Raising doubts over the safety of girls in Kerala, yet another shocking incident was reported on Saturday in which a man and his wife had pushed their teenaged daughter into flesh trade with the help of her stepfather and boyfriend at Pravoor, a coastal town near Kochi.

The girl, the daughter of construction workers, was spotted by some autorickshaw drivers on Friday night when she was fleeing home to escape the torture. On hearing her plight, they informed the Child Help Line. The girl narrated her problems to the volunteers, who rushed her to Kakkanad Government Hosp­ital. Doctors in the hospital confirmed that the girl had been repeatedly assaulted. They lodged a police compla­int.

Police have taken seven people into custody following a complaint from the girl, who dropped out of the school two years ago after studying up to eighth standard. The incident, which comes close on the heels of a few cases of parents criminally assaulting their minor children, has sent shock waves across the state.

When contacted, Circle Inspector Abdul Salam, who is investigating the case, said the girl ran away from home as she unable to withstand the pressure from her parents, the stepfather and her boyfriend, who were forcing her to have sex with strangers.

As the parents were separated, the girl would spend time at both their places depending on her convenience.

She was first forced to have sex when just 14 years old by her father’s friend. The foursome had forced the girl to sleep with at least 20 men. Her father, said to be very close to her boyfriend, sought the latter’s help to put pressure on the girl to have sex with the men he brought home. Her stepfather helped her mother to get “customers” for her daughter. Some of the “clients” had even beaten her up, she told the police. Her parents took her to flats and hotels in and around Kochi.

Just about a year ago at Paravoor, a small time film actor had forced his teenaged daughter to sleep with directors and other film personalities. The girl had told the police that she was forced to share the bed with more than a hundred people.

There seems to be a rise in child abuse in Kerala with many cases reported in the last few months. A couple of weeks ago, the father, uncle and brother of a school girl were arrested in Kannur, for repeatedly molesting her. Police had found them to be liquor and drug addicts. In Kottayam, a woman had complained to the police that her former husband had been abusing their two teenaged daughters, leading to his arrest. The elder daughter had killed herself to escape from her father’s clutches.

Less than a week ago, a six-year-old girl from Kurumpady in Ernakulam district was allegedly sexually abused by her 40-year-old father for six months after forcing her to drink alcohol. A six-month-old was “raped” in Kollam nearly three months ago.

Sociologists aver that high rate of alcohol consumption and easy availability of drugs, thanks to the flourishing tourism industry in the State, has rendered the state unsafe for even small girls.

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