Kochi police demand Rs 5 lakh from parents to release girls rescued from cybercriminals

Representative image | Photo: Mathrubhumi archives

Kochi: A Delhi couple who migrated to Kochi 11-years-ago has faced a shocking experience from the police. They alleged that the police demanded Rs 5 lakhs from the couple for releasing their daughters who went missing after falling prey to cybercriminals.

The couple, who finds their livelihood from footwear business at Pachalam in Kochi, has five children. Elder among them are two sons aged 21 and 19. They help parents in the business and the other three are students, including two girls.

The family landed in trouble after gifting a smartphone to their daughter, who is a plus-two student. Soon, she fell in the trap of cybercriminals. As the friendship with unknown people in the virtual world became stronger, she started skipping classes. Though the parents warned her, she didn’t pay attention to their words.

Her online boyfriend continuously forced her to leave home. Finally, she left home with her sister to enjoy life outside on August 21 night with Rs 35,000. The parents then lodged a complaint with Ernakulam North police station immediately.

The police informed the parents that the girls left for Delhi via train and asked them to fly to Delhi to carry out an inquiry. The parents visited many places with the help of Delhi and Haryana police in search of the girls. Kochi police have not assisted them in the inquiry.

Helpless parents

Sympathising over the plight of the couple, Delhi police directed the police in Kochi to reach Delhi for an investigation. The poor couple borrowed money and covered all expenses for them, including the fare of flight tickets and accommodation.

Finally, Delhi police traced the girls along with two men in Delhi and they were identified as Faizan and Subair. Reportedly one among them raped the elder girl. Kochi police arrested Subair and sent the girls to care home.

In a statement, the girls told police that parents used to compel them to do all hectic household works and it was to escape from it they left home.

Reportedly, ASI of the police station urged the parents to allow the accused to marry the elder girl. Since they declined, the police demanded a sum of Rs 5 lakh for releasing the girls from custody. When the parents refused to pay the cash, ASI challenged them and said they will not see their 5 children anymore.

Cruelty of police

Kochi police allowed one accused to leave but arrested the brothers of the girls. The parents alleged that police forced their sons to sign in a document written in Malayalam. In fact, they do not know to read and write Malayalam. The signed document reportedly admits that the brothers raped the girls.

The youngest brother, who is a class 8 student, was also summoned to the police station and mentally tortured with obscene questions.

The mother is upset as she didn’t get a chance to meet her daughters. She had communicated with her children once through a video call. There is nobody to help the poor family, who neither knows the language nor holds support of influential people. Amidst this, they have been receiving threats from Subair’s relatives and police.

Case registered as per girl’s statement: ASI

The ASI, who is facing the allegations, claimed that he arrested the couple’s sons as per the statement of the girl. He asserted that in the statement to police, the girl informed that she was forced to flee home after her brothers abused her.

“She told me that her youngest brother also raped her. The parents are raising baseless allegations to save face,” said the ASI.

Only Subair had raped the girl and hence we arrested him and not Faizan, he added.

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