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CBI probe ordered into Pollachi serial sexual assault case, protests swell
Tamil Nadu

CBI probe ordered into Pollachi serial sexual assault case, protests swell

Chennai, Mar 14 : The Tamil Nadu Government on Thursday handed over to the CBI investigation into Pollachi sex scandal involving molestation and blackmail of several school and boy girls by a gang over the years after the opposition alleged cover-up and Assembly Deputy Speaker Jayaraman denied that his sons were involved and offered to face any probe.

The Government issued order entrusting the case to the CBI days after it was taken from the local police and given to the Crime Branch CID.

As more videos of trapped girls plaintive cries for mercy fuelled public anger, several women organizations and college boys and girls in thousands took to the streets demanding immediate arrest of all those involved and stringent punishment to the culprits.

Taking note of media reports, National Commission for Women chairperson Rekha Sharma wrote to the Director-General of Police, seeking action report.

Justifying the decision to hand over the case to the CBI, the Government said” since investigation involves technical issues, including analysing of Facebook data I.P.logs/ addresses and Internet usage logs, communication with Facebook and other Internet service in various countries and the nature of the crime is extremely serious demanding some specilaised attention and require. laborious and dedicated investigation with technical expertise'',

The opposition is bound to question this logic as the State police has a cyber wing which is meant to deal with cases involving violation of Information Technology Act.

Listing the action taken so far, the Government said on a complaint from a Pollachi college student on Feb 24 that she was physically and sexually harassed by a group of men inside a car, the local police registered cases under Sec 354-A, 354-B and 392 of IPC (Central Act XLV of 1860) and Sec 66-E of Information Technology Act, 2000 and Sec 4 of Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act, 1998 (Tamil Nadu Act 44 of 1998) against the four accused, who were later arrested and sent to judicial custody.

The IPC sections relates to outraging the modesty of women and sexual harassment. The police have also included Sec 392 which relates to punishment for robbery as the assailants were alleged to have snatched the gold chain of the girl after she resisted advances and screamed. She managed to get away and complained to the police, taking the lid off the whole scandal.

The Government said that subsequentlyfour persons, Senthil, Babu, Mani Manivannan and Vasanthakumar, and AIADMK functionary Nagaraj were arrested on a complaint from the brother of the girl that they threatened him. ( They were however, booked for minor offences like wrongful restraint which are bailable and which involve a maximum punishment of one year. ) The four main accused, including the mastermind Thirunavukarasu, have already been detained under the Goondas Act..

Thirunavukkarasu, said to own a farm house where the girls were seduced, and his accomplices Sathish, Sabarirajan, Vasanthakumar are in their 20s. They allegedly lured girls through Facebook, sexually assaulting them filmed the act to silence and blackmail them.

Meanwhile , the Pollachi police have arrested five persons in connection with the ransacking of a TASMAC bar owned by expelled AIADMK functionary Nagarajan, Assembly Deputy Speaker. Pollachi Jayaraman who was dragged into the controversy following the arrest of Nagarajan has taken the issue to the Election Commission, accusing.the DMK of maligning his name for political gains.

As students protest snowballed across the State, the Government ordered closure of some colleges in Pollachi whose students were in the forefront of the agitation. Similar agitations were held in Tiruchi, Thanjavur and Chennai.