A tide of sex crimes, many of them involving schoolboys as young as 16 years, has surfaced in Kerala, sending shock waves in society. In two of the most appalling ones among the series of sex-related crimes over the past few days, a brave school girl helped unravel a gang including her schoolmates who had schemed to create a morphed picture of her mother for blackmailing the family, and another teenage girl has complained that she had been sexually exploited for years by her brother and his friends.
Both incidents were reported from Kottayam district this week. Meanwhile, a local television channel reported that several cases of sexual harassment had been reported in a university and that the accused were yet to be brought to book.
In the case of morphing a housewife’s picture and then attempting to blackmail her, police have arrested three persons, including a man identified as Nithin (28). The other two are teenagers, and police are on the hunt for more members of the gang. The incident, which happened in Kumaranalloor in Kottayam district, came to light on Wednesday after an anonymous letter was placed in front of the woman’s house. The letter said the gang had dirty pictures of the woman and demanded sexual favours from the woman or pay Rs20,0000.
The woman’s school-going daughter, however, emboldened her parents and on her own initiative found that the anonymous letter was written on a paper torn from a school notebook. Further inquiry revealed it was from the notebook of one of her school mates. The family then lodged a formal complaint and the police were able to arrest three of the accused.
In the second incident, a teenage girl from near Erumely, also in Kottayam district, was reportedly sexually abused by her brother and his friends for several years. Officials of Childline, who came to know of the matter from the girl, lodged a formal complaint with the police.
In another incident on Friday, a school girl from Peringom near Kannur was injured after she jumped off a running jeep when the jeep driver reportedly attempted to molest her. The girl, who is a handball player at the national level, was admitted to a private hospital in Kannur. Police took the accused, Sandeep (30) into custody.