Thousands of hair salons across Tamil Nadu closed in protest of a court’s decision to acquit an accused child rapist last week. The protests held demanded justice for the child victim, who was raped and murdered.
The 12-year-old’s body was discovered at her house in Dindigul in April last year, with a live electrical wire around her neck and placed inside her mouth and nose. Her 17-year-old neighbour was arrested for allegedly committing the crime. An autopsy report revealed that the child was raped and suffocated to death.
The Mahila Court in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu acquitted the 17-year-old suspect on September 29th, stating that the prosecution failed to prove the charges ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. The judge questioned why the police investigation of the case did not disclose why the electrical wires were not seized and examined for fingerprint matches to the suspect.
Two crucial witnesses on the prosecution’s side had also withdrew their accounts. ‘‘They were crucial witnesses as they were the ones – neighbours of the victim – who had immediately rushed to the spot on hearing her screams. But they turned hostile,’’ stated an official that was part of the investigation.
The parents of the victim stated that they would appeal against the acquittal at Madras High Court.