The Kerala police on Sunday arrested the mother of the minor girl, who was molested in a cinema theatre by a businessman in Malappuram district, claiming she was aware of the sexual assault on her daughter.
The main accused Moyideen Kutty, a middle-aged businessman, was arrested on Saturday after CCTV clippings of the two-hour-long assault was aired on a news channel and went viral on internet.
Both Kutty and the girl’s mother have been charged under provisions of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act.
The police have booked the girl’s 35-year-old mother under section 364 (A) of IPC, along with relevant sections of POCSO and Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act.
She was taken into custody after CCTV visuals from the theatre showed that Moideen Kutty was engaged in a sexual act with the girl’s mother, while also sexually abusing the minor child. They were seated on the front row seats and Moideen abused the child throughout the show.
According to the police, the man and the woman were in a relationship. She had taken the child to the theatre and let him sit in the middle.
Kerala Women’s Commission chairperson M C Josephine said preliminary investigation showed the minor was abused with the connivance of her mother.
The incident took place on April 18. The night vision cameras in the theatre captured video footages of the man, flanked by a middle-aged woman on his right and a minor girl on his left, engaging in sexual acts with both.
The theatre owner checked the CCTV visuals after one of the viewers alerted him about the incident. He immediately alerted the childline officials who in turn informed the police.
However, police failed to register a case against the accused initially. They swung into action only on Saturday when the media exposed the incident.
After the police inaction evoked widespread criticism, the sub-inspector of Changarakulam was suspended and action is likely against more officers. Action is likely against more police officers who tried to hush up the case.
The state human rights commission has also ordered an inquiry against the officers who tried to delay the case despite possessing strong evidences.
Josephine also met the owner of the theatre and lauded his effort in exposing the incident.
Meanwhile, the girl has told the police that she had been assaulted by the accused earlier also. She also gave a detailed statement before a magistrate and later underwent medical tests. She was later shifted to a rescue home.
The women’s commission said the victim will be given the best care and counselling to help come out of the trauma.
Kutty runs a number of jewellery shops and restaurants, besides owning a lodge. The mother and the daughter were reportedly occupying one of the rooms here and were often taken by him in his luxury car, according to residents