Kozhikode: The fear of interrogation and other procedures are preventing the parents of children abused by elders, from moving ahead with cases, say Childline authorities in Kozhikode. They confirmed that more than half of the abuse cases that they took up were not registered either because parents were afraid or the hostile attitude of police. The police also agreed to settling of cases discretely due to lack of awareness. However, they added that petitioners should approach the station house officer or someone above his rank.
The issue was revealed by Childline India Foundation’s district coordinator Muhammedali M.P., in the context of the increase in abuse cases being reported against children, especially in rural parts of the district. “There were many instances where the parents were hesitant to file a complaint since they feared the news would affect the reputation of the family and in turn affect their kids’ future. In many other cases, policemen also turned them away asking them to think of the ‘consequences’ of the complaint. On many occasions, Childline was asked to file a proper complaint with evidence against the culprit.
This may not be possible all the time, since our duty is to inform about the incident, like any others members of the public,” said the district coordinator. However, while admitting that there was a tendency from the lower level cops to dissuade parents, Rural SP M.K. Pushkaran said that there was an immediate need for awareness among the parents of the atrocities committed against children. “The petitioner should approach station house officers with such complaints, which need immediate attention. We are constituting special investigation teams in such cases and the complaints are being considered with utmost seriousness,” said the Rural SP.