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Oppn slams Kerala govt over increasing atrocities against women, children

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Wednesday came under opposition’s attack for the alleged increase in atrocities against women and children, even as the Chief Minister assured that the accused would not escape the law.

Hitting out at the government over the recent incidents of alleged sexual abuse of seven children at Kalpetta, death of two minor sisters at Walayar in Palakkad and the rape of a teenaged girl allegedly by a Catholic priest, the Congress-led UDF Opposition blamed “police inaction” for the “increasing” crimes.

Replying to the notice for an adjournment motion moved by the UDF, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the government was taking the incidents very seriously and was committed to bring the accused before law.

“None will escape the arms of the law, however highly placed the accused may be,” he said, adding that no accused would get any protection. He also rejected the opposition’s charge that the police was inactive and that they remained a mere spectator.

Vijayan said in the Walayar case, where two minor sisters were found hanging in their house, post-mortem and chemical examination reports had revealed that they had been sexually exploited. A case was registered under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and section 376 (rape) of the IPC, he said.

In Kottiyoor, where the vicar allegedly raped the 16-year-old girl following which she gave birth to a child, he said it was only due to police vigil that prime accused Fr Robin, who was allegedly trying to flee to Canada, was nabbed from near Nedumbassery airport in Kochi.

“A representative of God has committed such a grave crime. He has such a criminal mind and was trying to escape abroad when he was caught,” Vijayan said.

“No accused will be spared and none would be allowed to escape in all such cases. Police is not viewing cases against women and children as trivial incidents but treating them very seriously,” he said.

On the recent alleged abduction and attack on a film actress in Kochi, he said the probe was moving in the right direction.

Describing the rape of seven minor girls of an orphanage at Kalpetta in Wynad as “unfortunate”, he said six accused had been arrested and charged under various sections, including rape and also the POCSO Act.

Earlier, seeking notice for adjournment, K Muraleedharan from the Congress alleged that a lack of police vigilance led to increasing crimes against women and children after the LDF came to power. He also expressed anguish that the House was

discussing such an issue on the International Women’s Day.

Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said despite Kerala claiming to be 100 per cent literate, there were an increasing cases of sexual assaults against women and children.

“We are not blaming the government but due to its inept response, the attacks are increasing,” he said.

The opposition members, including the Kerala Congress (M) and the BJP staged a walkout after the government disallowed a discussion on the matter.

PTI