The Kerala Congress on Wednesday suspended OM George, the District Congress Committee (DCC) member from Wayanad, from primary membership of the party after the police registered a case under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act against him for alleged sexual assault of a tribal girl.

George, who is currently absconding, is accused of sexually assaulting the minor girl, aged 17, for one-and-half years during the time she worked as a domestic help at his house.

According to reports, the girl, who has been shifted to a government shelter home, had tried to commit suicide last week. Her parents, who too worked at George’s house, approached the police when the girl narrated her ordeal to them.

The police registered a case against George under relevant sections of the POCSO on Tuesday after taking the statements of the girl and her family.

George has also been slapped with charges under Section 376 (rape) and under the SC/ST Act.

Reports say that the police are probing the girl’s mobile phone which they believe contains crucial details regarding the case.

George, who hails from Sultan Bathery, is a former Panchayat president. Reports say that he also tried to “settle” the case with the police. The girl’s parents also alleged a local Congress leader had tried to put pressure on them to withdraw the case and offered money.

Suspending George from the party membership pending inquiry, KPCC president Mulapally Ramachandran told reporters that Congress would not brook criminals in its ranks and will not protect any accused.