In Chennai Court, Lawyers Thrash Men Accused of Raping 11-Year-Old
On the day the Supreme Court condemned rising cases of lynchings in India, calling them "horrendous acts of mobocracy", a number lawyers in Chennai’s High Court campus took law into their own hands and thrashed a few of the 17 men accused of raping a 11-year-old Chennai girl with disabilities.
The hearing impaired girl was allegedly raped multiple times over the past seven months, 17 of her suspected tormentors were arrested, with some beaten up and dragged down the stairwell of a court on Tuesday, 17 July by angry lawyers, police said.
Those arrested included a liftman, security guards, plumbers, electricians and other maintenance staff working at the apartment complex in Ayanavaram locality where the girl lived with her family and where she was allegedly sexually assaulted several times.
The court remanded all the accused in judicial custody till 31 July.
The Madras High Court Advocates Association (MHAA) has, meanwhile, said no lawyers will represent the accused in the case and sought "strong punishment" for them.
"The advocates have registered their protest against this incident (sexual assault) by raising slogans against the accused persons. We have decided none of the advocates will appear for them," MHAA president G Mohanakrishnan told reporters.
MHAA's decision will be communicated to other lawyers' bodies also, he added.
The arrests were made on the complaint by the victim's mother. The shocking case of repeated sexual assault came to light after the victim, a class 7 student, narrated her ordeal to her elder sister.
The sister informed their parents about it following which the girl's father lodged a police complaint on 15 July.
(With inputs from TNM)
"The girl has said that she was molested by 11 people and has identified 17 persons (including accomplices of the alleged perpetrators of the crime)," a senior police official told PTI.
At least four of them have confessed to the assault, while two others said they had molested the girl, the official said.
Police said further investigation is on and CCTV footage of the complex would be examined.
"We are taking it as a special case and working on it," the officer said.
Tension was palpable outside the women's court located on the third floor of the family court premises when the accused were brought for completing the remand proceedings, which lasted four hours till 3 pm.
In the melee, eight of them were secured inside an additional family court on the ground floor and nine others rushed back to the women's court where they remained confined for close to five hours due to angry protests by lawyers.
Principal family court judge Dharman, MHAA chief Mohanakrishnan, advocate Kannadasan, joint police commissioner T S Anbu and others succeeded in persuading the agitated lawyers to end their protest around 7.40 pm after which they were taken to jail.