CHENNAI: A grim silence shrouded the casualty ward of government Kasturba Gandhi Hospital for Women and Children in Triplicane on Tuesday as relatives of a two-and-a-half-year-old girl struggled to believe that she had been gagged and raped by a 22-year-old neighbour the previous day.
Doctors at the hospital said they found nail marks on her body and had sent smears for a test to confirm rape. They said she was being taken care of by a team of specialists. Based on a complaint from the family, police registered a case under Sections 3 and 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act and are looking for the perpetrator.
The girl's mother, a home maker, said she was sweeping her house on Monday evening. Then she left the child to play and went to fetch water. When she returned after a few minutes, the girl was missing. Believing that she might have gone to a neighbour's house, she began a search. After nearly 15 minutes she heard the child's cries from a locked house nearby.
She peeped through a window and found her daughter crying with a cloth stuffed in her mouth. "The room was partially dark. I was clueless about what had happened and raised an alarm," said the woman, adding that she saw a youth named Vijay of Triplicane, who came to visit his grandmother, with her daughter in the room.
When Vijay opened the door and came out, the woman asked him why her daughter was crying and he claimed she had fallen off the bed and sustained injuries. As others gathered at the house, the youth managed to slip away. The child then told her mother about what 'the uncle' had done. "I was suspicious about him from the day he came to visit his grandmother," the woman.
"He had sprinkled face powder on the bed where there was blood stains," said the child's father, a daily wager.
The family took the child to governmentRoyapettah Hospital where doctors referred her to government Kasturba Gandhi Hospital for Women and Children.