Kerala cricket coach arrested for sexual assault of minor girls

Manu, a former cricket coach of the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA), has been accused of sexually assaulting female students during training sessions and has been arrested by police in Thiruvananthapuram on the same charges. The Thiruvananthapuram Cantonment Police promptly registered cases against the accused Manu under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Kerala cricket coach arrested for sexual assault of minor girls
Kerala cricket coach arrested for sexual assault of minor girls

According to police records, Manu exploited his students by taking advantage of a training trip to Tenkasi. As per the charges, he secretly photographed minor girls without clothes, claiming that doing so was necessary for evaluating their bodies for cricket selection.

Manu has been a cricket coach in Thiruvananthapuram for over a decade, according to sources. The police registered cases under the POCSO Act after the first complaint was filed by a survivor following the KCA’s pink tournament, initiating an investigation. Subsequently, five additional survivors have made allegations against Manu.

In a previous case, Manu was arrested and accused of molestation, but the complainant later retracted her statement, leading to his acquittal. Despite this, he continued to work for the association, raising concerns regarding oversight and measures to protect children.

Following his recent arrest, authorities have confiscated two of Manu’s mobile phones, on the suspicion of them containing incriminating evidence related to the alleged offences.

Rajith Rajendran, Secretary of the District Cricket Association, assured Mathrubhumi News that the association would provide complete support to the girls who have filed complaints against Manu.

“The District Cricket Association will offer full support to the girls who have filed complaints against Manu,” stated Rajith Rajendran, Secretary of the District Cricket Association, to Mathrubhumi News.

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Rajendran mentioned that in a previous case involving Manu, he was acquitted after the complainant changed her statement. During that case, all the children were interviewed, and they testified in support of Manu.

“There was a previous case involving Manu, in which he was acquitted after the complainant changed her statement. During that case, all children were interviewed. On that occasion, all children testified in support of Manu,” Rajendran added.

Rajendran clarified that the association did not approve the Tenkasi tournament. The decision to attend Tenkasi was made collectively by the children, their parents, and their coach due to the rarity of girls’ cricket tournaments. He also mentioned that Manu resigned in mid-April, and the new complaint emerged only after his resignation.

(Quotes sourced from Mathrubhumi News)

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