Fact finding: Sexual abuse of two girls in TELC student hostel at Pollachi, Coimbatore district.

Introduction:

Nowadays news about incidents of sexual abuse against children has become a daily issue. The news of two girl children sexually abused in Pollachi, Coimbatore district is a continuation of it. Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church (TELC) is running an elementary school and a boys’ hostel at Pollachi, Coimbatore district. On 11.06.2014, two girl children staying in the TELC boys’ hostel were sexually abused and the same was reported in various newspapers on 12.06.2014 and 13.06.2014. A fact finding team was constituted by Tamil Nadu Child Rights Protection and they visited several places related to this incident and interviewed several people on 17.06.2014 and 18.06.2014 and has prepared a report on the same.

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Brief facts of the case:

On 11.06.2014 night around 11:45pm when the children of TELC hostel were sleeping an unknown  person entered the hostel and abducted Magi (10 year old) and Dhanya (11 year old) by threatening with knife. He took them both to the nearby Sarvodhaya Sangam terrace and sexually abused them. A complaint was registered with the police and police rescued the two children and admitted them in Pollachi Government Hospital. A person named Veerasamy was arrested by the police in relation to this case. The warden of the hostel was also arrested and the hostel was sealed and the children were rescued and sent to some other home. Now most of the students were taken back by their parents and only few are in staying in home. 

Findings:

The TELC Church administration was running the hostel without obtaining proper permission from the government. TELC hostel was meant only for boys wherein three girls were admitted in that hostel this year which is against the norms. The hostel was surrounded by several damaged,  abandoned buildings and huge bushes. The doors and windows were badly damaged. The toilets and bathrooms were bit far from the hostel room, surrounded by bushes and without any lights. There is no running water facility in the toilets and bathrooms. There was no watchman for the hostel and also the warden also does not stay with the students in the night. The steps leading to the terrace of  Sarvodhaya Sangam building is very close to the hostel and it could be accessed by anyone from outside since there is no proper compound wall. There are large numbers of empty alcohol bottles and water covers scattered everywhere. This place looks like refuge for drinking people. More than one person came into the hostel with the main accused.

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Recommendations:

All the three accomplishes of main accused also should be booked under POSCO Act. The Police department authorities are not aware of the POSCO Act. So the government must take steps to train the authorities about the POSCO Act. The two girls must be given proper Psychiatric treatment and the government must help and make sure that these girls continue their education. The government must take hard stand and take steps to close down all the unregistered hostels and homes throughout the state. The authorities who turned blind eye and allowed this unregistered hostel to function must be punished.

 

For full report please contact HRF