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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Relatives of POCSO-accused Siraj free him from police custody

Relatives, including women and children of a POCSO accused in Kerala, fought with police officers in plainclothes and freed the accused Siraj. The incident occurred on October 23 at Aranmula in the Pathanamthitta district. The accused man is on the run and local police are yet to locate him.

This same police force is expected to provide security for the lakhs of Ayyappa Swami devotees who will throng Aranmula on their way to Sabarimala within a few days. 

Siraj had abandoned his first wife and stayed with a woman at Kunnicode in the Kollam district. Recently, police received a complaint against Siraj for allegedly molesting the woman’s 15-year-old daughter. Kunnicode police registered a case against him under the POCSO act. Siraj, a native of Kattoor village near Aranmula, went into hiding.

Police scanned his mobile number and found the accused was back in his hometown near Aranmula. Kunnicode Sub-inspector Vaisakh Krishnan and Grade SI Faizal reached Aranmula in plain clothes. They had informed the Aranmula police station in advance about the operation. 

Kunnicode police team found Siraj moving around on a bike and intercepted the pedophile. The trouble started when they took the criminal into custody and seated him in their car. Siraj’s relatives, including women and children, gathered and blocked the vehicle. They forced the officers to release Siraj sitting in the back seat.

Video footage of the incident surfaced recently. Siraj’s relatives demanded that the police officers show them their ID cards. The same relatives are seen prompting and pushing Siraj to escape. The pedophile used the opportunity and fled in the ensuing commotion. The mob accused the police officers of being drunk and beat them up. Later, these police officers were admitted to the district hospital.

Videos also emerged of Aranmula police in uniform arriving on the scene. Allegedly, Kerala police did not act against Siraj’s criminal family. Following severe criticism from different sections of society, Aranmula police later registered a case against ten persons for their involvement in the incident. 

At the same time, the relatives claimed victimhood and said that they thought the police had come to ‘kidnap’ the pedophile since they arrived in a private vehicle! A few women are seen abusing the police officers and accusing them of beating them up. There is no footage to substantiate this claim. 

Janam TV reported that among those who freed the accused was KN Tanseer, a leader of the Communist teachers association. The police have also registered a case against him under non-bailable sections. Others booked include Siraj’s mother, sister, and wife. Though it has been one week since the incident happened, not a single accused has been arrested. Several criminal cases are pending in court against Siraj, but he is yet to be found.

Kerala police seldom show such consideration when it comes to matters involving Hindus. It is alleged that Kerala police have orders to go slow on Islamist criminals. Is this part of the Talibanization of Kerala?

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