An accused in the Walayar rape and death case of two minor dalit sisters was on Saturday thrashed by a group of people following an altercation, police said.
M Madhu, the third accused in the case, who was acquitted recently, allegedly got into an argument with the group near his house, the police said.
"The group allegedly called him (Madhu) a rapist when he came to his house from Coimbatore. The man used some vulgar expressions, words and picked up a fight with the locals following which he was thrashed," Palakkad police chief told PTI.
However, Madhu's mother told the media that the attackers were from Sangh Parivar, he said.
The accused has been admitted to the district hospital in Palakkad.
The police official further said a case has been registered against four people.
"We have also taken three of them into custody. The probe is on," police said.
The state government had recently ordered a judicial probe into the death of siblings by suicide after they were sexually exploited at Walayar in Palakkad district.
The older child (13) was found hanging in her house on January 13, 2017, while her nine-year-old sister died 52 days later in a similar manner.
Police had arrested four people, one of whom was acquitted in September this year, and the three others on October 25.
The accused were charged with abetment of suicide and rape, the police said.
The POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act) court in Palakkad, while acquitting the accused, had pulled up the investigation team, saying it did not present enough scientific evidence.
Following widespread protests, the government had on November 20 filed an appeal in the high court challenging the acquittal, saying the lower court verdict was 'absolutely perverse and wholly unsustainable.