A 20-year-old man accused of raping of raping a 16-year-old Adivasi girl in Dharmapuri district last week surrendered in a court in Salem in Tamil Nadu on Monday. The Tamil Nadu police had arrested another man accused of raping the teenager on Sunday. The girl died of her injuries on Saturday, five days after the alleged assault.
The man who surrendered on Monday was identified as Ramesh. Twenty-two-year-old Sathish was arrested from Yercaud after Dharmapuri Collector S Malarvizh held talks with protesting villagers and assured them that he would be held within 24 hours, The Times of India reported.
The investigating officer at Kottapati police station was removed from active duty after the victim’s family alleged that the police asked them to pay Rs 6,000 to file a first information report, The New Indian Express reported. “They sent us back without registering a complaint of rape,” the mother alleged.
The police reportedly prepared an FIR later without the family’s consent and mentioned the crime as “attempted rape”. The family also accused the police of handing the girl to the Child Welfare Committee instead of taking her to the Harur government hospital for a medical examination.
S Malarvizh said Harur Revenue Divisional Officer Punniyakodi would carry out a separate investigation into alleged procedural lapses by the police.
The girl had returned to her remote village in Dharmapuri after her residential school closed for the Diwali holidays on November 2. On the afternoon of November 5, she was alone at home after her parents went out to graze their cattle when the accused allegedly barged in, tied her up, took her to an isolated place and raped her. One of the two men is related to the family. A passerby heard her screams and came to help but the two suspects managed to flee, the girl’s mother said.
Parliamentarian and Pattali Makkal Katchi leader Anbumani Ramadoss said the state government must pay the girl’s family Rs 25 lakh as compensation. He conveyed his condolences to the family and said the girl could have been saved if she had received proper treatment on time.