POCSO accused who fled from FLTC untraced

Police recover mobile phone stolen by him from autorickshaw driver

More than 24 hours after he slipped away from the first-line treatment centre (FLTC) at the Kochi airport’s convention centre where he was in quarantine after testing positive for SARS-COV-2, a 19-year-old accused in a child sexual abuse case remains elusive.

The Nedumbassery police have registered a case invoking IPC Section 225B (Resistance or obstruction to lawful apprehension, or escape or rescue in cases not otherwise provided for) and for violation of the COVID protocol under the Kerala Epidemic Diseases Ordinance.

A resident of Kuttampuzha, the accused was arrested by the local police under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act on September 9 before being moved into the FLTC on testing positive.

“He lives on the fringes of the forest near a tribal hamlet along the Adimali border. We checked the area after receiving a tip-off that he was back home. However, we could not find him,” said Mahesh Kumar, Inspector, Kuttampuzha.

He had escaped from the FLTC with the mobile phone of a nurse on Tuesday. Though police personnel were deployed at the FLTC where four other accused were also kept, their lodging was some 250 metres away to maintain physical distancing.

The accused is learnt to have hired an autorickshaw to Kothamangalam from where he reportedly moved to Adimali. Though the police had searched the area in the night itself, he could not be traced. However, they recovered the mobile phone from the autorickshaw driver.

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