An inmate of a teenage girl of Nambikkai Hope Children Home (HCH) on Beach Road in Nagapattinam Tamil Nadu, made sexual harassment and assault charges against its owner Parameswaran, his wife, her brother and two more.
A local Tamil journalist who has exposed the incident said attempts are being made to hush up the matter with their political and community people. The way the police filed a case with weaker sections, and contacts in the collectorate, allowing them to escape to get anticipatory bail shows something to fish in the affair and their strong political connection, which will deprive the poor inmates of getting justice.
The journalist told your correspondent in detail about the home and the murky things going on with the blessings of their high connections. Strangely, all the accused are government servants, which helped them to thrive without getting caught, getting community social responsibility funds from Central government institutions and through Lion Club, Rotary Club etc.
The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, also known as the Boxing Day tsunami, caused widespread death and injuries, displaced thousands, destroyed towns, homes, livelihoods, infrastructure, and wrecked coastal areas in Tamil Nadu. Cuddalore and Nagapattinam are some of the coastal areas’ worst affected ones. Help poured from all quarters, and many bogus NGOs mushroomed to cash in on the situation. The HCH is one among them. He is a crypto Christian with a Hindu name and identity. His visiting card says Pastor Karibeeran of Jehovah Nissi Church. Currently, there are nearly 32 inmates, mainly children, both boys and girls, from all communities. Of them, 15 girls and boys are below 18 years old.
According to the journalist and BJP functionary Nethaji Parameswaran, from Salem in 1997, a qualified petroleum engineer came to Nagapattinam to join ONGC. He claimed he was a scheduled caste (SC), but a colleague filed a case he belonged to the scheduled tribe (ST) community and hid his Christian identity to avail benefits as SC/ST. The case is still pending. His wife Choodamani works in LIC as a Zonal manager, and the home’s secretary Dharmalingam is also an employee in a Government hospital; some say he works in a pharmacy, some say he is a ward boy who can’t be at this moment verified. Dharmalingam works in a Government district medical college hospital as a lab technician. Parameswaran’s brother-in-law works in the district collectorate.
According to journalist and BJP functionary Nethaji, ” Karibeeran Parameshvaran started the home to care for the orphaned children who lost their parents and relatives in the Tsunami. In the initial days, people believed him, as he had also lost his three children and seven others in his family. To show his proximity with former district collector J Radhakrishnan who is known for his humane face and efficient officer, he took pictures with him. He allegedly misused land for the home and other benefits from the Government. It is to be noted that the former US President who visited the home helped him to get foreign funds”.
Now the real story starts with his manipulations. The locals and journalist said he could get ONGC s CSR funds for his home as an employee.
Besides, the Lions and Rotary club connections helped him with huge CSR funds from patrons and corporate institutions. He avoided getting funds directly and routed them through these bodies. The present inmates are not tsunami victims.
Only one home inmate complained that she was sexually assaulted by Parameshvaran several times. She made the complaint on February 23, with the women’s police station. Alerted by the police, revenue and police officials visited the home and inquired with the inmates and employees.
They found the charges were true. After that, the inmates were moved to a Government-run Annai Satya home. The victim was coerced to withdraw the complaint but stood stubborn in her move.
Her friends recalled with horror, “Whenever she saw his car entering the complex, she started trembling and hid in the home to avoid his sexual advances. She was forced to go to his room whenever she visited from Thanjavur (where she is presently settled) to Nagapatinam home to serve food, and snacks, to clean the room and body massage or some other pretexts”. The victim, who is allegedly from a dominant vanniyar caste, said not it has happened not only to her but some others who are afraid of revealing the same fearing consequences”.
It is learnt that a ruling party DMK MLA, who is a Christian and stirred controversy by garlanding the prime accused in the Lavanya suicide case (student and inmate of the hostel of the Christian school in 2022) from the prison and asking to pray to defeat of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP in the coming Lok Sabha elections, is extending his support and protection to them.
According to sources, a 14-year-old girl somehow managed to make a police complaint, and the police showed a lack of interest she brought it to the district collector. Now the police registered FIR with weak sections, enabling him to go scot-free. The sections would dilute the case. He and others involved in the case were allowed to go underground by the police.
It is also learnt that Dharmalingam’s wife, a lab technician in the district medical college hospital where the victims were medically tested, and samples were taken, is trying to manipulate the lab results in favour of Dharmalingam.
Parameshvaran ‘s brother-in-law works in the collector’s office. He uses his influence to ensure the case is diluted. Parameshvaran ‘s political, social and other connections, including his photos with an IAS who holds a key position in the Government, helped him a lot.
It is shocking how a person and his accomplices accused and booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) act without cooperating with police could get anticipatory bail. Until this report is written, the home is yet to be sealed by Government officials.
The inmates have now been shifted to a Government home. They ensured that nothing went public, particularly to the media. After allowing the accused to escape, police included POCSO sections but not serious ones. Some social service activists, including BJP functionary Nethaji, met the district collector and SP to take action demanding their immediate arrest and sealing of the home. Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) took to the streets demanding justice for the victim on March 10.
Right from Chief Minister MK Stalin, his cabinet colleague, his son who openly admitted he married a Christian girl and being so, speaker of the state Assembly M Appavu, who has repeatedly been saying that it was their (Christian) Government and would do everything for them. The police have been working allegedly partially to carry out the Government’s hidden agenda, like in the Lavanya Suicide and sexual assault cases by Christian pastors; it would do everything to allow the accused to go scot-free.
Nethaji said, “there were allegations against Parameswaran of grabbing temple land illegally to build a church to carry out his conversion agenda. We made protests in this regard earlier. He made a written assurance he would not indulge in such things in future. But the inmates when coming out after their education as Christians, not the community they originally belonged at their birth”.
Fisherwomen Arputham said, “they also went to fishermen hamlets for conversion by belittling Hindu religion—those who were lured with dress, money, foods converted to Christianity. For us, the mother of the sea is important, and daily pray to her before going to sea for fishing and would offer the first catch to her”.
When the local journalist visited the home, they found it was locked inside. When called, Dharmalingam came out and said students had gone to school. He is trying to evade the questions about the inmates’ whereabouts and what had happened there. He also hoped the home would be functional in ten days and sir (Parameswaran) would come.
It is alleged that many such homes claim to be NGOs getting funds from foreign countries only to indulge in conversion. It is also allowed to exploit the unfortunate poor ones sexually.
Meanwhile, in the Villupuram horror home – Anbu Illam (love/affection house) case, which hit the headlines of sexually assaulting mentally challenged inmates and harassment of all sorts, two more inmates go missing. Two accused persons arrested in the case have become questionable after doctors declared them insane. They were used to bring roaming people on streets, tonsure them and other jobs. They were employed for a monthly salary.
The name hope ‘Hope” and ‘Love” does not gel with their activities. It is a hope against hope that the Nagapattinam girl would get justice against all odds.