Chennai: As the gravity and ramifications of the Pollachi sex scam sank in, the AIADMK Government on Tuesday went into a damage control mode and trained guns on the DMK accusing it of triggering false protests ahead of the elections. Sources said the government has decided to transfer the case to the CBI to demonstrate its ‘innocence’ even as the Opposition kept harping on the arrest of a local AIADMK functionary, Nagaraj, and his subsequent expulsion from the party.
Pollachi witnessed continued protests by the DMK with party’s Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi courting arrest. Police was forced to release her after the cadres of the DMK and allies, besides the public, besieged the vehicle taking her from the protest venue. Activists of six other Opposition parties including Congress, DK and MDMK had also joined the stir.
Addressing the cadres, Kanimozhi said the scam had brought shame upon TN and demanded firm action. The same network of criminals who had harassed the woman was involved in molesting over 250 women in the past seven years, she alleged, while lauding the victim’s courage in freeing herself from the gang and lodging a police complaint.
Deputy Speaker Pollachi V. Jayaraman stepped up his attack on the DMK by petitioning the Chief Electoral Officer alleging that the Opposition party was spreading falsehood for electoral gain. Meeting the media persons later outside the State Secretariat, he lashed out at the DMK leadership while firmly denying reports about involvement of any of his family members in the scam. DMK- and some Opposition parties have already pressed for a CBI takeover of the case that is fast becoming one of the main poll issues and could embarrass the ruling party considering that the state will witness by-polls in 18 Assembly constituencies on April 18.
Tightening the screws on a gang that sexually harassed and blackmailed hundreds of women over the past seven years, Director General of Police TK Rajendran has transferred the case for investigation to the Crime Branch-CID. Back in Coimbatore, police slapped Goondas Act on the four accused — Thirunavukkarasu, Sathish, Sabarirajan and Vasanthakumar. However, activists were not convinced pointing out that the Act had loopholes. “Goondas Act is just a way of buying time. In three months their case will come up before a review committee after which the accused can come out on bail,” a lawyer said.
Meanwhile, the bail plea of the main accused Thirunavukkarasu was dismissed by a local court on Tuesday amidst high drama as his mother Selvi, who had applied for the bail, protested demanding his release. “He has not done anything wrong. If he has, call him and beat him black and blue,” she screamed at the public who taunted her.
The bail plea has been quashed on two counts. Thirunavakkarasu had been absconding for 10 days and the data from his two seized phones needs to be retrieved for throwing light on the case.
“The two phones recovered from him have been sent for scrutiny by experts and only after their report will further details be unveiled,” defence lawyer Meera Moideen told reporters.
In a related development, an advocate representing the victim said police have arrested the people identified in their complaint. The very reason for lodging the complaint was to create awareness that a police complaint should be lodged by victims in the unfortunate event of such harassments, he said and appealed that the issue should not used for political gains. He also wondered why some political parties were seeking the “arrest of the accused,” when they had already been arrested....