Minor molested in theatre: Case against SI based on POCSO Act

Police did not act on the molestation complaint for more than two weeks. They filed an FIR only on Saturday after a news channel aired the CCTV visuals

The police said the man and the woman had been in a relationship, and she had taken her daughter to the theatre and let her sit in the middle seat.

The mother of the 10-year-old girl who was allegedly molested by a 60-year-old businessman Moideen Kutty in a movie theater in Malappuram last month, was arrested on Sunday after detailed questioning. CCTV footage from the theatre showed Moitheenkutty sitting between the mother and the daughter. The Childline handed over the tape to the police the next day after verifying the identity of the man.

However, no action was taken until Saturday and police swung into action when media exposed the incident. He was also taken for a medical checkup and is expected to be presented before a magistrate soon.

Moitheenkutty was arrested on Saturday and was booked under Section 354 of the IPC and the POCSO act. Relevant sections of the POCSO Act have been slapped against both.

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Successful businessman Moideenkutty, accused in the Edappal theatre child abuse case, had furiously protested against the brutal gangrape and murder of a minor girl in Kathua recently, and had a sparkling reputation among local people at Thrithala. According to the remand report, Moideenkutty had abused the girl at her rented house with the consent of her mother. After the probe finally picked up pace, Sub-Inspector K G Baby was suspended on Sunday for dereliction of duty.

Shoranur DSP P.N. Muraleedharan said the police will examine if Moideenkutty is linked to any other abuse case. "The Childline activists did not inform us about the place of occurrence", the SHO said.

"There are serious lapses on the part of police and senior officers are looking into them", Hindustan Times quoted Kerala Women's Commission chairperson M C Josephine as saying. DGP Loknath Behara said stringent action would be taken against the accused in the case. "I have asked for appropriate action against those who have erred", he added. Yesterday, Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala had demanded action against the erring police personnel.

A case under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act was registered against the woman.

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