AIADMK councillor, friends allegedly rape Class 9 girl promising school fees; 2 women among 5 held

The girl's trauma began in December last, but the councillor and others were arrested on Saturday after the incident came to light recently.

ByVinodh Arulappan

Published Mar 06, 2023 | 10:58 PM Updated Mar 06, 2023 | 11:42 PM

Councillor Sigamani.

Expectations were high when a poor couple decided to seek financial help from an AIADMK councillor to pay the school fees of their daughter.

Little did they know that a traumatic experience — more for the Class 9 student — was awaiting them.

Taking advantage of the family’s poor financial condition, the councillor, identified as 43-year-old Sigamani, raped the girl multiple times. His friend also exploited her.

The police have now arrested five people, including Sigamani and two women. He represented Paramakudi Municipal Corporation’s third ward.

The incident came to light after a phone conversation between a woman, who took the girl for counselling, and one of her relatives became public.

A request for loan — and trauma

In December 2022, the girl’s parents approached their neighbour Uma alias Annalakshmi (34) seeking a loan to meet the educational expenses of their daughter.

Uma, the couple later said, contacted her friend N Kayalvizhi, a Paramakudi resident and an employee of Sigamani’s real-estate concern.

Kayalvizhi informed the councillor of the girl and her family, and their need for cash. SIgamani asked her to bring the minor girl to him.

The girl and her mother met the councillor at a place near Parthibanur. Kayalvizhi was also with them.

Promising them money, the councillor and Kayalvizhi took the girl to a private property on 28 December, where he sexually assaulted the minor several times.

He also invited his friends — Maravar Senai member Puthumalar Prabhakaran (42), and Raja Muhammed (36), a textile-shop owner in Parthibanur. The men also violated the girl.

Sigamani reportedly bought Uma’s silence with some money. They also entered into an intimate relationship in the following days.

Mother approaches cops

When the girl’s mother came to know about the incident, she asked Uma and Kayalvizhi questions, who threatened her and her daughter with dire consequences if they mentioned the incident to anyone.

Meanwhile, the councillor and his friends started threatening the mother, demanding that she send the girl to their place whenever they wished.

Unable to bear the trauma and humiliation, the woman complained to the Ramanathapuram district’s Superintendent of Police (SP) P Thangadurai.

On the SP’s directive, the Paramakudi police recorded the girl’s statement with the help of Child Welfare Committee (CWC) officials.

A CWC official told South First that they were shocked by the minor’s statement.

“Later, the minor girl underwent a medical examination and was sent for counselling. We have also arranged subsequent counselling sessions for her,” the official said.

The police arrested Sigamani, Prabhakaran, Raja Muhammed, Uma, and Kayalvizhi on Saturday, 4 March. They were remanded in judicial custody. All five were booked under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

All Women Police Station Inspector N Uma told South First that they had collected sufficient evidence and recovered video and audio clips from the accused. She said she expected a fast trial in the case.