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DateLine Sunday, 6 July 2008

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Skeletons in the closet

Keeping mum about incest:

What made the father turn into a beast and sexually molest his two under aged daughters during the absence of their mother from home?

The two under aged girls were too frightened and alarmed to confess to their mother of what was happening in their own home until much later. The suspect was a violent man. There were frequent squabbles at home with his wife and children owing to his erratic behaviour.

The horrible incident happened to a family living at MalenWeva, Thulana, in Thanthrimale, a remote hamlet off Anuradhapura. The father was an ex Grama Niladhari who lived with his wife and their two daughters and a son. His eldest daughter was 14-years-old and attained puberty last December.

The second daughter was 10 years old and the son was 5 years old. They belonged to a poor humble family. The wife was employed in a project affiliated to the Divisional Secretariat at Anuradhapura.

She was a field officer who travelled extensively in the area to collect revenue. As a result she was away from home most of the time and the young children were left in the care of the father.

The father however was a drunkard who sexually molested his two daughters age 14 and 10 despite their tender ages while the mother was away from home. When drunk the father usually approached her eldest daughter and sexually molested her despite her resistance.

But She was too young and tender and too week to ward off his sexual onslaught. His beastly behaviour frightened and subdued the little girl very much. Taking advantage of her innocence the father repeatedly sought sexual gratification from her.

He knew the girl would not dare to complain to her mother. The sexual tryst went on for a few times until the girl confided everything to her mother one day. Although she complained to her mother it fell on deaf years.

The mother was too terrified to question her husbandís behaviour knowing his violent temperament. She also did not want to complain to the local Thanthrimale police knowing the connection her husband had with them.

According to the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) the mother could have easily prevented her husbandís reckless and vulgar behaviour by lodging a complaint at the local police. But being a meek and timid person the mother had not taken action to nip it in the bud.

The NCPA started probing into the matter when they received several petitions regarding the manís savage and aggressive behaviour towards his two daughters. Soon the villagers began talking about it and matter was on every bodyís lips.

When NCPA sleuths, headed by Woman Inspector Marlin Perera, Sub Inspector Kadiragama, Police Constable 100317 Sarath visited the home of the Ex- Grama Niladhari and met his wife they were shocked to hear the sordid story.

They were also annoyed the mother had failed to report the matter to the nearest police station. The sleuths also came to know from the mother that her eldest daughter was sexually molested by her husband an umpteen number of times despite objections. But the girl was too week to ward off the sexual onslaught.

The mother also said that after the girl attained puberty last December the father one day came home and in his drunken stupor had sexual intercourse with the girl. He did so by locking his younger daughter and the son in a room.

When the Mother returned home that evening the poor girl complained to her about what took place in the home.

Alarmed by the fact of what she heard she removed the girl from her home and settled her at her brothers home in the village despite threats levelled by her husband. He desperately wanted the girl brought home immediately.

It was somewhere in January this year when the father came home drunk one evening and dragged his younger daughter (10) to the corner of the kitchen in the presence of her mother.

He then ordered her to shed her clothes and sexually molested the little girl in the presence of the mother. The sordid matter that night not only triggered revulsion within her but she decided to lodge a complaint at the local police station.

The pressure mounted on her by her husband to bring back the was insurmountable. So the mother instead of visiting her brother house to bring back the child had gone to the Thanthrimale police station and lodged a complaint of rape against her husband .

According to the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) the father the former Grama Niladhari is involved in a murder case where he allegedly had committed a murder. He is to stand trial shortly before courts. Meanwhile the suspect was arrested by the police and was produced in courts.

He is now in remand custody pending trail. The two daughters were also produced before the JMO Anuradhapura for further tests, police said. Although we do not hear such bizarre incidents taking place in our society most people discuss incest openly due to its unpleasant nature.

Families that confront such problems often suppressed facts as if nothing happened. They did not even leak details to the outside world owing to the fear of stigmatisation.

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