Alappuzha: Molesters of foreign nationals go scot-free
Alappuzha: The bid to molest a Bhutanese woman tourist in the busy Mullakkal Street here on Thursday has raised concerns over the safety of women at a prominent tourism spot in the country.
Similar incidents had taken place here in the past also. Two British nationals-William Meister and Jasper Canon- were assaulted by a gang on the night of September 7 last year in retaliation for questioning the gang’s misbehaviour with a Spanish woman while they were sipping beer in a restaurant on the beach.
Two perpetrators, Ramees Khan, 21, Shah Manzil, Civil Station ward, and Azharudheen, 21, were arrested, but the case did not reach a logical conclusion. In January 3, 2014, three foreign women, Kristine MacMillan, Candian, Jennifer Crane, American, and Sacha Moreland from New Zealand registered a complaint with Alappuzha north police station after the houseboat crew stole USD 45 and Rs 8,000. But, the accused did not face any legal action.
The culprits often go scot-free due to prolonged legal process. Setting up a special fast track court is the only practical solution to deal with the cases, it is felt.
“The criminal investigation system and the delay in the court proceedings are the major hurdles in meting out justice to the victims,” said James Vadackumchery, criminologist. “The victims should get victim relief fund from the government,” he suggested.
Mr Thomas Mathai Karikampallil, president, Thathampalli Residents’ Association, urged the police to take steps to restore the faith of the public in the police. “ A special police squad must be formed to investigate such cases,” he said.