Migrant girl kidnapped by gang of four in Ochira, parents injured

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Ochira: A 14-year-old migrant girl in Ochira near Kollam was kidnapped by a gang of goons who barged into her house in the middle of the night and assaulted her aged parents. The couple who eke out a living by selling wares on the pavement have been hospitalised with serious injuries after the attack on Monday night.

The police have received leads suggesting that the girl was taken to Bengaluru by three members of the gang, two of them with criminal antecedents. The police have taken into custody one of the four attackers – Vipin Changankulangara – along with the man who rented the car to the criminals and the real owner of the car. The car has been traced.

One of the attackers is wanted by the police for trying to attack the girl in her house six days before the kidnapping. Her parents have told the police that the criminals had sneaked into their house and made away with Rs 25,000 one-and-a-half years ago. They have been living at Ochira for two years.

The other suspects have been identified as Pyari from Payikkuzhi and Ajayan from Vallikkavu, both history-sheeters, and Muhammed Roshan from Memana.

Kollam city police commissioner P K Madhu is personally monitoring the investigation in the case. A special team has been formed to trace the girl and her abductors.

The kidnapping points to the insecure lives of low-income migrants in Kerala. Many of them raise their girls in the guise of boys to keep them away from unwanted attention while they go out in search of work. The girls are forced to crop their hair and try to imitate the ways of boys to escape the eyes of possible tormentors, who target the vulnerable group with little local support.

Most of the times, the migrants are scared into submission and warned against going to the police. A migrant family who had rented a house near the Ochira temple had a devastating experience when their 3-year-old daughter was molested by a neighbour eight months ago. When they lodged a complaint with the police, the locals reacted by evicting them from their house.

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