Vandiperiyar girl's murder: HC notice to govt over lenient charges against accused

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Vandiperiyar: The High Court of Kerala has sought an explanation from the state government on the alleged lapses in the chargesheet in a case pertaining to the sexual abuse and murder of a six-year-old girl here in Idukki district.

The court also rejected the bail application of the accused, Arjun, 22, an activist of the Democratic Youth Federation of India and neighbour of the girl.

The explanation was sought after the court found that the police had not invoked the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against the accused.

The girl was allegedly sexually abused and hanged to death. Her body was found in a labour cottage of an estate in Vandiperiyar on June 30, 2020.

Police found that the girl had been abused for three years, and the accused allegedly lured her with toffees and food. The accounts of witnesses also supported the finding.

The chargesheet was filed within 78 days of registering the case. The absence of certain sections, which would ensure maximum punishment to the accused, in the chargesheet was found suspicious.

Police reportedly ignored the demand of the girl's family to invoke Section 325 of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against the accused. The omission denied mandatory financial aid that the family was eligible for as per rules.

The family had approached the high court questioning the lapses. The government has been told to submit the explanation in two weeks.

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