Salem: In an extraordinary situation in the steel town of Salem, all the 'All Women Police Stations' were temporarily shut on Friday for an extensive disinfection drive. Over 22 police personnel including two policewomen were isolated after an accused in a sexual abuse case happened to test positive for the Covid-19 corornavirus while in judicial remand.
Police said one Lokanathan of Salem Thathagapatti, in whose house a beauty parlour was functioning, and two of his friends, Pradeep and Shiva, had allegedly been threatening widows and single women after taking obscene pictures of them. They allegedly tried to use the pictures as a threat to force the helpless women into the flesh trade, police said.
Some of the affected women complained to the Salem Town All Women Police station, based on which two policewomen investigated the case and arrested the three persons. The beauty parlour was said to be the meeting place, even as police are on the lookout for Lokanathan's father and the youth's wife, suspected to be involved in the sexual abuse racket.
On being arrested the three accused were tested for Covid-19 before being remanded in Salem jail. Of them Lokanathan tested positive for the virus, forcing the public health authorities to "isolate" the two women police personnel who arrested the accused. More than 20 other police personnel at the nearby Annadanapatti police station have also been 'isloated', while the accused Lokanathan who tested positive for Covid-19 has been admitted to hospital for treatment.
Since all the 'All Women Police stations' in the town have been shut temporarily, the other women cops now work from the nearby general police stations. The incident has sent shock waves across Salem when the district was emerging out of the coronavirus crisis....