Six persons were arrested today in connection with the alleged sexual abuse of seven minor girls of an orphanage at Muttil in Wynad district, police said today.
The accused, in the age group of 24-41 years, were staying in the neighbourhood of the orphanage, police said.
In yet another shocker from Kerala, police said a nine-year-old girl, who was found hanging in her house at Walayar in Palakaad district two days ago, had been allegedly sexually assaulted as per the medical examination report.
The incident came hardly 50 days after her elder sister was found dead in a similar manner inside the house. She was also suspected to have sexually abused.
Three persons were taken into custody in connection with this case, police said.
In the orphanage incident, 11 cases have been registered against the accused under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act and various sections of IPC including that for rape.
Statements of the victims, all below 15 years, have been recorded and their medical examination also completed, police said.
The children were raped "very cruelly". The girls were subjected to repeated abuse after taking their photographs and threatening them, Kannur MP, P K Sreemathy, who visited the girls, told reporters.
The accused lured the girls and forced them to watch pornographic films before subjecting them to sexual abuse over a period of two months, police said.
The matter came to light after one of the girls was seen coming out from a nearby shop under suspicious circumstances and was questioned by the orphanage staff, following which a complaint was lodged with the police.
Officials of 'Yatim Khana', where the girls were staying, said they would fully cooperate with the probe.
Reacting to the incident in Palakkad district, CPI(M) leader V S Achutanandan said it was police's lapse that led to the death of the nine-year-old, who was a student of class IV.
"Post-mortem report says this child was also subjected to sexual abuse. This is a very serious situation," he said, adding stern action should be taken against police personnel who allegedly helped the accused to escape.
The efficiency of the child welfare centre at Palakkad also should be enquired into, he said and wanted the government to take immediate steps to provide financial help to the children's parents, who are daily wage workers.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)