Pollachi sex scandal: TN decides to transfer case to CBI

Chennai: After the Opposition DMK targeted the ruling AIADMK and asked whether the latter was protecting the accused in the Pollachi sexual assault case, the state government decided to order a CBI probe into the case. Earlier yesterday the case was transferred to Crime Branch CID from local police.

DMK President M K Stalin yesterday slammed the ruling government asking if the AIADMK was protecting the accused. “Why has there been no prompt action in the issue despite media unearthing the incident and protests held by DMK and other opposition parties?” he asked. Followed by this, the Tamilnadu government have planned to transfer the case to CBI.

The incident which came to light three weeks ago after the four accused were arrested for allegedly blackmailing and sexually harassing a 19-year-old girl in Pollachi, drew wide spread outrage and assumed political overtones after a local AIADMK functionary allegedly assaulted the victim’s brother. He was subsequently arrested and expelled from the party.

The four men – Thirunavukkarasu, Sathish, Sabarirajan and Vasanthakumar- are accused of sexually assaulting many young women in Pollachi area over a period of time. They had first assaulted her on 12 February and had allegedly tried to strip the woman inside a car and had shot a video of the act and blackmailed her using the visuals.

As per reports, more than 50 women were lured and sexually harassed by the gang and the acts were videographed by the men and it was later used for blackmailing the victims. Video of the survivor was leaked and the case drew widespread condemnation after a leaked, in which she could be heard screaming and resisting her assailants, surfaced. She managed to free herself lodged a complaint on 24 February. Four men, including the AIADMK functionary, were arrested separately for the assault on the woman’s brother.

Even as the Pollachi DSP R Jeyaram urged the public to inform the police if they know of any other victims, promising that their details will be kept confidential, no one has come forward yet and this is the first complaint made in the case.

Yesterday the four accused were booked under Goondas Act, which authorises detention up to a year, and now the government has decided to transfer the case to CBI and the administrative process of sending a formal request to the Centre was going on.

The incident drew widespread condemnation from various political parties in the State. DMK member and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi led a demonstration at Pollachi yesterday demanding tough action on the accused and other involved. 

Kanimozhi alleged that the same network of criminals were involved in molesting over 250 women in the past seven years and that this incident has brought shame. She further lauded the victim’s courage in freeing herself from the gang and later lodging a complaint.

Makkal Needhi Maiam party held a procession in Pollachi and its chief Kamal Haasan met with Director General of Police T K Rajendran in Chennai and sought his intervention to ensure justice for the victim. Other parties such as the Communist Party of India and Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam have also sought justice for the victim. CPI State secretary Mutharasan alleged people suspected that some from the ruling party were supportive of the accused. Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam chief TTV Dhinakaran demanded a court monitored CBI probe to ensure justice. The Democratic Youth Federation of India too demanded a court monitored probe and speedy action.

However, senior AIADMK leader Pollachi V Jayaraman yesterday assured that right from day one, his party was also demanding tough action against the accused.

Meanwhile, the relatives of the victim have requested the political parties not to politicise the issue as it may prevent other victims to approach for justice. The relatives, who had submitted a memorandum to the district collector with regard to the case, said such agitations by the political parties added to the stress already being felt by the girls and their parents.

NT Bureau