The Kerala police found itself in the dock on Sunday over its lackadaisical attitude in a child sexual exploitation case, despite receiving a complaint along with documentary evidence.
In visuals played by a TV channel on Saturday, a businessman Moideen Kutty was seen sexually exploiting a 10-year-old girl and at times, getting close to her mother as well, at a movie hall in Edapal in Malappuram.
The incident took place on April 19 following which the movie hall manager complained to the Child Line and also presented the visuals. The Child Line approached the Changaramkulam police station on April 26.
However, the police got into the act only on Saturday following a furore after the airing of the visuals. Within an hour, Kutty, who has business interests in the Middle East, was arrested before he could leave on Saturday night.
The police also faced criticism for trying to take action against the Child Line officials as they gave the visuals to the media, which aired it.
On Sunday, police took into custody the victim's mother and after detailed questioning, a case under POCSO was registered. The woman used to stay on rent in a building that belonged to Kutty.
Kutty was taken for a medical check up and is expected to be presented before a magistrate soon.
The girl's statement was recorded by a magistrate and she was sent to a state-run rescue home.
According to sources in the know of things, Baby had approached his superior officer soon after receiving the complaint from Child Line but there was no action from the higher ups.
"The manner in which the police acted is a serious matter too, as they should have taken immediate action. I have asked for appropriate action against those who have erred," Sreeramakrishnan told the media.
"It's shocking that all this happened with the knowledge of the mother and an appropriate case should be registered against the mother too," said Josephine.
Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala demanded strict action against the police officials for not acting on time. "Criminal cases should be registered against all the erring police officials," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)