NAGAPATTINAM: A 25-year-old man from a village near Mayiladuthurai was arrested on Thursday night for allegedly raping and impregnating his 14-year-old sister-in-law. A 70-year-man from the same village has also been detained on suspicion of sexually assaulting the girl.
The child, a class IX student, delivered a baby at the Mayiladuthurai Government General Hospital last Saturday. Her widowed mother and elder sisters allegedly falsified her age when admitting her but hospital staff grew suspicious and alerted the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU).
“The family is not educated and is from a scheduled tribe community. The girl’s mother had married the minor to her son-in-law after he impregnated her,” said J Arokiayaraj, the district social worker from the Department of Social Defence.
According to police, the girl lives with her mother, who works as a sanitary worker, in a village near Mayiladuthurai. Her two elder sisters are married to sanitary workers and live separately.
Police said that one of the sisters is childless. Her husband started visiting the 14-year-old and allegedly started sexually assaulting her. The sister and mother learnt of the man’s visits when the child became pregnant and allegedly got her married to the man as his second wife.
When the child went into labour on Saturday, the mother, her sisters and the accused man took the girl to Mayiladuthurai Government General Hospital. The family allegedly falsified her age and marital status. However, hospital staff grew suspicious and, after speaking to the child, intimated the DCPU, who began investigating the family which was initially evasive.
“Finally, the mother had admitted that her son-in-law had impregnated the minor girl,” Arokiayaraj said. Based on a complaint from the social welfare officer, a case under the POCSO Act was registered at the Mayiladuthurai All Women’s Police Station on Friday.
Police, suspecting that a few others have also sexually assaulted the child, detained a few men from the village and are investigating. “We suspect that a 70-year-old man has also sexually assaulted the child. Investigations are underway,” said Mayiladuthurai DSP K Annadurai.