In a horrific incident reported from Coimbatore, a grocery shop owner was arrested for molesting as many as 15 young girls aged between 9 to 13. The incident was reported from a village in Anaimalai Taluk in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore. The accused was arrested earlier on Saturday and was identified to be a 62-year-old man. The accused was arrested under multiple sections of the IPC and POCSO Act.

According to reports, the incident was brought to the light after the victims of the molestation attended ‘Project Pallikoodam’. For the unversed, ‘Project Pallikoodam’ is an awareness campaign where young children are educated on the basic aspects of safety and encouraged to report on any wrongdoings regarding their safety.

After the girls attended the session, a 13-year-old girl approached her headmistress and revealed that she was sexually assaulted by a grocery shop owner. When the headmistress took other students in confidence and asked them if they faced similar experiences, she was shocked to see 14 other girls agreeing on having faced such assaults and experiences.

Moreover, the victims also alleged that they had faced the sexual assault for the last four years. The school headmistress immediately filed a complaint regarding the matter and the 62-year-old grocery shop owner was arrested.

Concerning State of POCSO Cases in Coimbatore & TN

Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore reported a 11.6% increase in cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in 2021. In Coimbatore, 77 such cases were registered in 2021 while 69 such cases were reported in 2020.

In Tamil Nadu, there were 6,064 POCSO cases in 2021, a shocking 39.8% up from 2020, where 4,338 such cases were booked. Meanwhile, another shocking incident of young minors being sexually assaulted emerged in Coimbatore.

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Minor Girls Attend “Project Pallikoodam”

In a village near Coimbatore’s Anaimalai Taluka, minor girls from a local school attended the ‘Project Pallikoodam’, awareness session, where young minors are told more about how to safeguard themselves and report any wrong doings.

After attending the session, one of the victims approached her school headmistress and reported having faced sexual assault from a grocery shop owner.

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Girls Aged Between 9 to 13 Molested for 4 Years

When the headmistress asked other students if they faced similar instances of abuse and trauma, she was shocked to find out 14 other girls claiming that they were assaulted by the same man.

The victims, all aged between 9 and 13, were molested by the grocery shop owner for the last four years. They mentioned that the shop owner touched them with ill intentions, and sexually assaulted for four years.

Headmistress Files Complaint, Accused Arrested

The headmistress immediately took to the Pollachi all-women police station earlier on Saturday and filed a complaint. Based on the complaint, the police filed an FIR against the 62-year-old accused. The accused is booked under multiple sections of the POCSO Act. This includes Section 7 (sexual assault), Section 8 (Punishment for sexual assault), Section 9 (aggravated sexual assault), Section 11 (sexual harassment), and more.

The accused was arrested on Saturday evening and was taken into judicial custody.

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Detailed Investigation to be Conducted

Coimbatore SP V Badrinarayanan spoke to media and mentioned that the victims attended an awareness session conducted by women’s help desk. Following this, the victims approached their headmistress and gave feedback regarding their experience.

He also mentioned that the officers of all-women’s police station are registering the statement of the victims and a detailed investigation will be conducted.


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