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Last Updated Monday April 22 2019 09:02 PM IST

Edappal theatre child molestation case: accused have confessed, say police

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Edappal theatre child molestation case: accused have confessed, say police Kankunnathu Moideenkutty of Thrithala in police custody. (Inset) SI K G Baby.

Malappuram: The main accused in the Edappal theatre child molestation case -- Kankunnathu Moideenkutty of Thrithala - and the child’s mother have confessed, said the police. The woman brought the 10-year-old child to the theatre with the intention of facilitating her abuse by the man, added officials.

Meanwhile, DGP Loknath Behera has issued directives to charge the Changaramkulam SI K G Baby under POCSO Act. However, a final decision in this regard will be taken later. Baby had failed to take action even after a complaint had been submitted to him with proof. He is already under suspension for lapse in investigation into the case.

Mother also arrested

Meanwhile, the child victim’s mother was also arrested in the case on Sunday morning. In her statement to the police the woman claimed that she did not notice the incident as she was engrossed in the film.

According to the police, the child’s mother has been in a relationship with Moideenkutty for quite some time.

The DGP said that all those involved in the case would be brought before justice. “A thorough probe is being carried out into the case. We will also examine if there was any lapse on the part of the police,” he told the media.

The victim has been shifted to a rescue home. Women’s commission chairperson M C Josephine, who visited the theatre and Changaramkulam police station, congratulated the theatre owners for alerting the authorities about the incident without delay. The case is being probed by the Tirur DySP.

The child was allegedly molested inside the theatre on April 18. The theatre owners informed Childline of the matter along with the video clips collected from the CCTV cameras in the theatre on April 25. Childline handed over the visuals as well as the request to register a case to the police the next day itself. However, the case was registered only on Saturday after a major controversy erupted. The state human rights commission which registered a suo motu case came down heavily on the police. Commission chairman P Mohanadas ordered that the district police chief should file a report regarding the incident within three weeks. The commission also demanded stern action against the police officials who were lax in carrying out their duty.

The police are facing criticism from various quarters for failing to register a case even after a complaint had been submitted along with video proof. Several guidelines which have to be followed while dealing with such incidents were flouted by the police. They include failing to launch a search for the accused as well as the woman and the child.

The incident

On April 18, the woman and the child reached the theatre in Edappal. The main accused arrived there after sometime in a luxury car. CCTV visuals clearly show a middle-aged man molesting the child sitting in the adjacent seat. The theatre owners informed Childline workers of the matter on April 25 and handed over the visuals.

Moideenkutty was arrested while he was on his way to meet a lawyer in order to obtain anticipatory bail. The Palakkad police said that he was planning to flee abroad. After his arrest, Moideenkutty was taken to Kuttippuram police station and interrogated. He was later shifted to Ponnani station. Youth Congress and BJP activists took out a march to the station.

The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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