POCSO ‘habitual offender’ arrested for abduction of nomadic couple’s toddler in Kerala capital

PTI, Mar 4, 2024, 8:09 AM IST

Kerala police on Sunday arrested a man from Kollam in connection with the recent disappearance of a two-year-old girl, the daughter of a nomadic couple from Bihar, from a wayside tent here in the state capital.

Thiruvananthapuram city Police Commissioner C H Nagaraju said the accused Hassan Kutty alias Kabeer was apprehended from Kollam this morning.

”We questioned him and, prima facie, it is confirmed that he was the one who abducted the child. We have arrested him,” Nagaraju told the media.

As per the preliminary investigation, he abducted the child and took her to a nearby railway track. ”He tried to molest her, but when she cried he covered her mouth and she fell unconscious. He has claimed that he left her there thinking she was dead,” the senior police officer said.

The toddler was found by the police in a deep drainage canal hours after she went missing. The police zeroed in on Hassan Kutty after examining hundreds of CCTV visuals.

Nagaraju said the accused is a history-sheeter with eight cases, including a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) case.

”He came out of jail on January 12 in a POCSO case. In 2022, he offered a toffee and molested a girl child, for which he was arrested and jailed,” the city police commissioner said. Police said Hassan Kutty, who is a resident of Kollam, is a wanderer and has cases including for house break-ins, thefts at temples and vehicle thefts, apart from the POCSO case.

”He is a POCSO habitual offender. It seems there are other POCSO matters in which cases were not registered,” Nagaraju said. Police arrested the accused two weeks after the toddler went missing.

The man abducted the little girl on February 18 midnight when she was sleeping with her siblings and parents in an isolated place near the main road adjacent to All Saints College here.

Soon after the child went missing, her family members rushed to the nearby police station seeking help.

After nearly 20 hours of intensified search, police found her in a deep drain, which was covered with thick vegetation, around one km away from the spot that she had gone missing.

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