A man who contested the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections in 2006 on a BJP ticket was reportedly arrested for molesting a minor girl in a train running between Thiruvananthapuram and Chennai. The incident reportedly took place somewhere between Salem and Erode stations on Saturday night.
The incident has come to light in less than 24 hours after President Ram Nath Kovind promulgated an ordinance pronouncing death penalty in rape cases where the victims are minors under 12 years of age. The ordinance amends sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Rule of Criminal Procedure Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
According to The Indian Express, the nine-year-old girl was fast asleep in her birth on the Trivandrum Express when she was allegedly sexually assaulted by the accused identified as KP Prem Ananth. An FIR has been filed in the case under POCSO Act.
Quoting FIR, the news report said that the man, who was carrying an identity card from the Madras High Court Advocates Association, boarded the train from Coimbatore and was traveling without reservation.
According to reports, the perpetrator had kissed her cheeks and pressed her chest.
The NewsMinute quoted details from the complaint filed by the mother: "This man got in with an open ticket, without reservation. A berth opposite mine was not occupied. I guess the TTE took the money and let him in though he denied it. He kissed her cheeks and pressed her chest, closed her mouth and molested her further. She pushed him. He got up to touch her the second time and she screamed, 'Mama, this man is touching my chest'."
The India Today said that the accused tried to intimidate the family using his big clout in BJP. "He threatened the family of dire consequences, claiming he had big clout in the BJP and was connected to several RSS leaders", it said. However, the railway police reportedly remained firm and promptly arrested the accused.
Tamil Nadu BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan told The Indian Express that Ananth does not currently hold any key position in the party at the state level. However, she added that she was not aware if he was active locally.
The lawyer, as per Election Commission data, had contested from Chennai's RK Nagar seat in 2006. A high-profile seat represented by Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, RK Nagar was recently in the news for the alleged cash-for-votes scam, and was won by rebel AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran in a second bypoll in December 2017.
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Updated Date: Apr 23, 2018 10:58:54 IST