‘Courts should be tough with accused in POCSO cases’

DINDIGUL

Opposing the bail granted to the nursing college correspondent in Dindigul district, who was arrested under the POCSO Act and also various IPC provisions, former CPI(M) MLA Balabharathi has appealed to courts to be tough with such accused.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, she said crimes against children, especially at private educational institutions, were on the rise in Tamil Nadu. Those running such institutions had contacts with highly influential people and indulged in silencing authorities. The child victims were undergoing a silent trauma.

The children were unable to express openly due to compulsions from managements which threatened parents. Sometimes, when students and parents boldly exposed the offenders, the police arrested the accused, but the courts granted them bail, Ms. Balabharathi said.

Granting bail to such accused within a short time would disappoint the petitioners. Jothi Murugan, who ran many educational institutions in Dindigul district, was exposed by the students a fortnight ago.

After a series of protests and complaints, the police registered cases against him. The accused surrendered before a Tiruvannamalai court. He was brought to Dindigul just a few days ago, and the court granted him bail now, she said and hoped the accused would be punished.

High Court advocate Ajeetha said when the parents of child victims obtained the first information reports registered against the accused under the POCSO Act despite several odds, they expected the court to monitor the counselling offered to the victims and medical examination conducted on them. Welcoming the policy note on child protection released by the Tamil Nadu government on November 20, she suggested certain amendments which would be more favourable to the victims.

The SFI is conducting a conference here on rising crimes against children / women in Dindigul district where speakers from the AIDWA and other women’s organisations are expected to address. The SFI condemned the bail granted to Jothi Murugan and expected the police to be fair and impartial in their inquiry.

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