2 held for bid to assault girls who fled children's home

Children's Home
Police outside Children's Home at Vellimadukunnu, Kozhikode.

Kozhikode: The police on Sunday arrested two men in a case of attempting to sexually assault the girls who had run away from the Government Children’s (Girls) Home here.

Kollam native Tom Thomas, 26, and Kodungallur native Febin Rafi, 26 were arrested by the Chevayur police. Febin Rafi managed to escape from the police station on Saturday evening but the police nabbed him within an hour. The two men have been booked under the sections of the POCSO Act and Juvenile Justice Act.

After recording their statements, the duo was taken for medical examination and brought back to the police station. Febin made the escape bid while the cops were making preparations to produce the youths before the magistrate.

The six girls had fled from the children’s home on the evening of January 26 and took a train to Bengaluru. Tom Thomas and Febin Rafi were also travelling in the same train.

When the girls told them that they were going to Goa and had lost their bag, the youths offered to help. They asked the girls to board the bus to Madiwala and followed on a bike.

The girls were taken to a flat in Madiwala. When Tom Thomas and Febin tried to assault one of the girls, the others prevented this. Later Tom Thomas and Febin Rafi were taken into custody.

The escape

Six girl inmates of the Children's Home at Vellimadukunnu who were briefly missing were brought back to Kerala on Friday and booked by the police.

The girls alleged the boys tried to assault them after trying to make them drink liquor.

Even as their interrogation is on mystery shrouds the motive of their flight soon after the Republic Day function at the institution.

All six were active in the preparation of the function since morning. The shelter home authorities say the six girls are among the brilliant ones lodged there.

Two siblings who had earlier stayed in the shelter home had shifted to their own house sometime back. But a few days ago these two girls returned and became friendly with the other inmates. The siblings are also among those girls who ran away from the Home.

It is believed that these girls were the ones who led the plan to run away from home. 

It is reported that all the six girls were at the asylum till 3 pm.

At around 4 pm the authorities got the information that six girls had gone missing. CCTV visuals show the girls coming out of the Home and walking on the road. 

After reaching the town, the girls bought an ordinary mobile phone for Rs 500. From that phone, they called another person. Later they got that person to transfer Rs 500 to the man from whom they purchased the phone via Google Pay.

They later boarded a KSRTC bus and left for Palakkad. 

Since they had no money to pay the bus fare, they asked someone to pay Rs 2000 to the bus conductor via Google Pay.

The conductor returned the balance amount from the ticket fare to the girls. From Palakkad, they boarded a train. Since the girls were travelling without tickets, on reaching Coimbatore the Traveling Ticket Examiner (TTE) asked them to alight from the train.

From Coimbatore, they travelled to Bengaluru on another train.

Though there was speculation that the girls may have gone to Wayanad, there was an argument that the girls could be within Kozhikode as they did not possess a phone or money.

Scramble in Bengaluru

CCTV visuals of the six girl inmates of the Children's Home at Vellimadukunnu who were briefly missing

While the authorities and others were busy speculating about the whereabouts of the girls, on January 27 they got the information that they were spotted in Bengaluru. 

Malayalam Samajam workers and hotel staff recognised the girls when they entered a hotel at Madiwala in the heart of Bengaluru city. When the girls realised that they were identified, they ran out of the hotel. 

(Earlier the police had intimated shops and lodges about the missing girls in the area.) 

While an attempt was made to block the girls, five of them slipped away and disappeared. One girl was apprehended by the people. The people who gathered there expected to trace the other five girls soon and those who carried out the search were well versed with Madiwala and Bengaluru city.

Vellimadukunnu children's home
The Kozhikode police said that one of the women has a boyfriend at Edakkara near Nilambur where four of them were found on Friday.

The girls were however not familiar with Madiwala.

But even then managed to disappear from the clutches of the locals in a short span of time. It is not clear as to who hid them. The search carried out by the locals did not yield any results.

In the meantime, one of the girls reached a bus booking centre and bought a ticket to  Kerala. The phone number given by the girl here proved helpful for the police. She had given her mother's phone number. 

Her mother picked up the phone when an employee of the private bus operator called on the phone number to ask her about the boarding point. The woman informed the booking staff about the matter.

Police close in

Soon the booking office gave directions to the bus staff to take care of the girl. The Kozhikode police were also informed about the matter. The police told the bus staff to ensure that the girl does not get down on the way. 

As usual, the bus began its journey from Bengaluru in the evening. At the same time, a police team also began their journey towards Bengaluru.

The police team and bus came across each other at Mandya. The police got information about the girl’s seat from the bus staff. Subsequently, they asked her to get down the bus. When enquired about the other girls, she told them that they might have gone to Goa. 

Four reach Malappuram

Even at that time, the police were carrying out its inquiry from different angles. While the police continued the probe and monitored the phone numbers of people who were likely to be contacted by the girls, they got information that four girls had reached Edakkara in Nilambur in Kerala's Malappuram district.

While the girls were stuck thinking where to go from Bangalore, one of them called a friend who is a boy. He stays at Edakkara. 

From Bengaluru, these girls reached Olavakkode by train. From there they boarded a bus to Edakkara. They borrowed a phone from a person and called the boy. 

The boy was sick and taking rest at his home. After understanding the location of the house, the girls were about to board an autorickshaw when the police apprehended them.

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