Crime against minors on rise

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Western Tamil Nadu witnesses spurt in crime involving helpless children

Frequent incidents of crime taking place against children below 14 years of age in western Tamil Nadu have become a cause for concern.
While a minor girl from Andhra Pradesh was rescued in neighbouring Tirupur, a 52-year-old man was arrested in Pollachi on Saturday for misbehaving with two girl children.

The accused, S. Ganesan, an unmarried electrician from Maikinampatti, had been following a strange practise of going nude in front of girl children in isolated places and striking obscene postures.

The mother of the two girl children, who learnt about Ganesan's act, had complained to the Pollachi East Police. “The two girl children were frightened and hesitated to go out without the company of their parents for the last one week. When enquired, they told their mother the reason for their fear,“ the police said.
The police booked Ganesan under IPC section 294 (obscene acts) and Women Harassment Act.

Though crimes against children are reported frequently, it is the sensational murder of siblings Muskan-Rithik by Mohanakrishnan and his accomplice Manoharan in 2010 which shook the entire state.

The accused kidnapped the school-going children in a cab to Pollachi under the pretext of taking them on a trip to see wild animals, raped the girl and killed the siblings by drowning them in a canal.

The data available with the city police suggests that four separate incidents of rape and molestation were reported in 2009.

Sexual crimes against children came down to three in 2010, two in 2011 and just one in the current year. Unlike in the previous three years, a lone case of abduction of a child was reported in the city limits in 2012.

However, child rights activists have a different take on the falling crime graph against children as they aver that several cases go unreported due to social stigma.

“Besides this, even children need to be sensitised on issues like sexual abuse and should be told to report such crimes to parents,“ said Mr D.
Rajan, a child rights activist and former chairman of the Child Welfare Committee.

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