A lawyer in Madras High Court, who contested the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls in 2006 on a BJP ticket , was arrested on Sunday on charges of sexually abusing a nine-year-old child onboard a Thiruvananthapuram-Chennai train. According to the FIR based on a complaint filed by the girl’s mother, the incident occurred at 1.15 am on Sunday when the child was travelling from Thiruvananthapuram to Chennai with her family. Accused K P Prem Ananth, says the FIR, boarded the train from Coimbatore and the incident took place between Coimbatore and Erode.
Railway police sources said the 56-year-old accused, who carried the identity card of Madras High Court Advocates’ Association, did not have a reservation. “He had an ordinary ticket. But he got on a reserved compartment and occupied a berth opposite to where the child and her family was sleeping,” said an official. “We have spoken to the other passengers. When he was nabbed by the passengers, he threatened them by saying that he is a lawyer and well-connected in BJP. He was handed over to railway police at Erode,” said the official.
An FIR has been registered and the accused has been booked for sexual assault under POCSO Act. Ananth contested from R K Nagar constituency in the 2006 Assembly polls on a BJP ticket.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Tamil Nadu BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan said Ananth does not currently hold any key position in the party at the state level and added that she is not aware if he was active locally. “I am told that he was not active. Whatever it is, being a BJP member or a politician is not a label, it is meant for service. If this crime has happened, he should be getting the maximum punishment on par with the latest ordinance. If someone with a BJP link commits a crime, it doesn’t mean that party will tolerate that. We will not tolerate such crimes or criminals,” she said.