Police Monday arrested the owner of a theatre, where a 10-year-old girl was sexually molested by a businessman on April 18, for alleged delay in informing the authorities about the incident.
Malappuram district police chief Prateesh Kumar said that the owner, Sateesh, was arrested as there was a delay of at least eight days in informing police about the incident.
Also, the childline had been told about the crime first instead of the police, he said. The owner was called to the police station for recording his statement and later arrested. He was later let off on bail.
A case was registered under The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) against him, Kumar said. The incident came to light after a Malayalam channel telecast the visuals showing the accused, 60-year-old businessman, Moideenkutty, molesting the child as her mother sat beside the accused.
The incident had triggered widespread outrage in the state. Moideenkutty was arrested soon after the visuals were telecast. The child’s mother was arrested later for abetting the crime and not informing police.
A case under POCSO Act was also registered against them. Though the theatre authorities handed over the visuals through childline to police on April 28, no action was taken by police until the visuals were aired.
A Sub-Inspector was suspended for the delay in registering an FIR in the case. Meanwhile, reacting to the arrest, Kerala Women Commission chairperson, M C Josephine, said the case against the owner was “fabricated” and “condemnable.”
Former DGP T P Senkumar said such an act would send a wrong message against the police and would distance the law enforcers from the general public.