In the Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu, a 62-year-old grocery store owner was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting minor girls attending a public school.
He was charged with sexually abusing at least 15 girls between the ages of 9 and 13 over the course of four years.
The crime was revealed when the police, in an effort to raise awareness about child abuse, carried out Project Pallikoodam (Project School) in June.
After the programme, one of the female pupils reported to her school’s headmistress that the proprietor of the grocery store that was close to their school in the village near Anaimalai in the Coimbatore region had abused her.
14 other students came forward after further investigation, the headmistress claimed, alleging that the same suspect had also assaulted them.
After the teacher called the police, they arrested the suspect and took him to judicial custody on Sunday.
The accused has been booked under sections 7 (sexual assault), 8 (punishment for sexual assault), 9 (aggravated sexual assault), 10 (punishment for aggravated sexual assault), and 11 (sexual harassment) read with Section 12 (punishment for sexual harassment) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act,” Coimbatore rural superintendent of police V Badrinarayanan said.