Another sex scandal rocks God’s Own Country

via VR Jayaraj | Kochi - Daily Pioneer published on June 26, 2011

Kerala is known in the sobriquet of God’s Own Country but the frequency of and brutality behind the incidents of sexual persecution of tender girls is forcing the people to view it as Devil’s Own Smithy. The latest incident of such inhuman act involves a 15-year-old girl from Paravur near Kochi, whom her father presented to scores of men for money after raping her.

The girl was hurled into flesh trade by her father, who abused her by threatening to torture — and even to kill — her mother and brother, two years ago. The police have already arrested 40 persons for sexually tormenting the girl or for acting as flesh trade agents. Those arrested include a leader of the CPI(M).

Investigations into the case are going on simultaneously in several cities in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka where the father or the agents had taken the girl to present to her tormentors in the past two years. It is said that a senior official in the Tamil Nadu police and a famous comedian of Malayalam cinema also could be arrested for abusing the girl.

The victim, recuperating after a total health breakdown due to continuous sexual torment, is said to have told the police about close to 100 men who abused her but media reports say about 200 men could have abused her. A police official said their present list had 65 persons as accused and that there was every chance that the number could go up.

Those already arrested included Sudheer, the girl’s father, and mother. Sudheer, who used to earn his livelihood by sticking posters of films, arranging junior artistes for movies and vending vegetables, had abused her first and then presented her for money to influential people in the hope of getting her into film industry using his minimal contacts in the sector.

The shocking sex abuse of the 14-year-old girl came to light three months ago after her mother lodged a complaint before the police submitting that her husband had forcibly taken the daughter to prostitution. Based on the submissions made by the girl and the mother, the police registered a case, which is now being investigated by several teams with a total strength of about 50 cops.

The police the other day arrested Thomas Varghese (42), a local committee secretary of the CPI(M), who had abused the girl at a place in Thiruvananthapuram and he has already admitted to the crime. The CPI(M) immediately expelled him from the party. Thomas had faced party action earlier for his immoral approach to a woman panchayat member.

The arrest of Thomas Varghese came as a double shock for the Marxist party as it was already struggling to get out of the humiliation caused by the charges against its influential leader P Sasi, formerly Kannur district secretary. The Paravur scandal broke just when it was preparing to act against Sasi for sexually harassing a woman.

Several flesh trade agents including three women – Zeenat (36) of Alappuzha, Jessy Mol (35) of Coimbatore, Beena (34) of Wayanad – have been arrested in connection with the Paravur scandal. Police officials said they had received information regarding more agents. Jessy’s husband Joshi also had worked as an agent.

“We already have strong cases against 60 persons but the list of accused could still get longer. It may even touch 100,” said a senior police official. The Crime Branch and the local units of the Kerala Police are investigating the case at the same time. Probe is going on simultaneously in Coimbatore, Chennai, Bangalore and several places in Kerala where the racket had taken the girl.

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