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Chennai lawyer held for bid to molest girl

The girl was part of a Chennai-based family who were returning home after attending a relative’s wedding in Kerala.

Erode: In a shocking episode late on Saturday night spilling over to the wee hours of Sunday, a Chennai-based lawyer was arrested by the railway police at Erode junction for offences under the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, after he allegedly attempted to molest a nine-year-old minor girl in a running train.

The advocate allegedly tried to misbehave with the girl while travelling in third air-conditioned coach on the Thiruvananthapuram-Chennai Express around midnight on Sunday. The girl was part of a Chennai-based family who were returning home after attending a relative’s wedding in Kerala.

The advocate, practising in the Madras High Court and whose name was given as K P Premanand, 57, had boarded the train at Coimbatore. The Erode railway police station inspector, Ms. S. Sangeetha said preliminary investigations revealed that the lawyer had got into the reserved compartment with an ordinary ticket and had tried to get a berth. The travelling ticket examiner (TTE) had told him no berth was available, but the advocate continued to travel by the reserved coach.

After the train crossed Tirupur, the advocate, apparently moving about in the compartment, had tried to misbehave with the girl, who in a fit of shock woke up, screamed and reported the matter to her parents. They, with the help of co-passengers, immediately caught hold of the lawyer. On the train reaching Erode junction, they handed him over to the railway police for further action. A leading national news agency on Monday reported that the advocate was later remanded and lodged in the Coimbatore central prison, but the information could not be confirmed immediately. In yet another incident in Salem district, a youth near Athur was arrested for “attempting to rape” a 16-year-old minor school girl on Sunday night, who was sleeping outside her home due to the sultry weather.

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