A local BJP leader, also a school teacher, was arrested on Wednesday on the charge of sexually abusing a 10-year-old student nearly a month ago, police said. Kuniyil Padmarajan (45), a BJP panchayat president and district leader of National Teachers' Union (NTU), the teachers' wing of the BJP, was arrested from a Poyilur area near here when he tried to escape after seeing the police," an investigating officer told PTI.
The parents of the fourth standard student of Palathayi school, where Padmarajan was also working as a teacher, had on March 17 approached the police with the complaint. "As per the complaint, Padmarajan had abused the child a few days before January 15, and on February 2. The parents approached the police with a complaint and we arrested him," Thalassery Deputy Superintendent of Police Venugopal told PTI.
The child's statement was earlier recorded before the magistrateand the child had narrated her ordeal to the doctor who examined her.The medical examination of the child had also revealed that she was abused. "We had gathered all the scientific evidences against Padmarajan. The complaint says he had taken her to the school bathroom and abused her," police said. Even as the complaint was filed on March 16, police had not arrested him saying he was absconding.
The police came under strong criticism for not arresting the BJP leader accused in a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) case even after a monthwith all political parties protesting against the law enforcers for their attitude which they termed as shoddy. The Congress party and the Indian Union Muslim League had protested against not arresting Padmarajan despite having strong evidence and child's statement.
The CPI(M) district committee had approached the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who is also the home minister, againstthe alleged careless attitude of the police in a POCSO case. The police have registered a case under necessary provisions of the POCSO Act and recorded the arrest. The BJP leader would be produced before the Magistrate soon.