DMK MP Kanimozhi on Tuesday criticised the Tamil Nadu police for revealing the name of the survivor in the Pollachi sexual abuse case, alleging it was to prevent other women from going public with their complaints.
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam held a demonstration in Pollachi, led by Kanimozhi, on Tuesday evening demanding tough action in the case.
At the rally, Kanimozhi slammed the Superintendent of Police R Pandiarajan for revealing the survivor’s name at a press-meet and said it was against the law, The NewsMinute reported. “The name of the survivor in this case was revealed only to silence the other women and prevent them from coming out in the open and complaining,” she said, TNM quoted.
The DMK MP also questioned the police’s claims that there were only four videos of assault, when the initial number put forward had been over 50, The Hindu reported.
Kanimozhi alleged the same network of criminals who had harassed the woman were involved in molesting over 250 women in the past seven years.
The party leader demanded an investigation into all the suicides in Pollachi by women over the last seven years. “Many women were blackmailed. The crime has been going on for the past seven years. There would be a bigger network of criminals, not just the four arrested persons,” she said, quoted IANS.
Kanimozhi lauded the survivor’s courage in freeing herself from the gang and later lodging a complaint.
Some women at the rally raised slogans like “Render justice,” and “Where is our security?”
Four men have been arrested by the police for the alleged assault and blackmail based on a 19-year-old woman’s complaint. Several media publications reported that the same gang had abused and blackmailed several other women.
The Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday decided to order a CBI probe into the case, hours after it was shifted to the Crime Branch CID from the local police.
The four accused had been booked by the police under the Goondas Act.
The case assumed political overtones after a local functionary of ruling AIADMK allegedly attacked the victim’s brother, which drew outrage from opposition parties.
The AIADMK subsequently expelled the functionary who had been arrested in the attack case.
The case drew widespread condemnation after a leaked video of the survivor, in which she could be heard screaming and resisting her assailants, surfaced.
The four men had on 12 February allegedly tried to strip the woman inside a car near Pollachi, and had shot a video of the act and blackmailed her using the visuals.
Political parties demanded a thorough probe and tough punishment for the accused.
A top state police official told PTI that the government has decided to transfer the case to the CBI and the administrative process of sending a formal request to the Centre was on.
Coimbatore District Collector Rajamani ordered detention of the four accused in the harassment case under the Goondas Act following recommendations by Superintendent of Police R Pandiarajan.
The four ― Thirunavakkarasu, Sathish, Sabariraj and Vasanthkumar- already under judicial custody had been booked under various sections of the IPC and Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act.
They will now face the Goondas Act as well which authorises detention upto a year.
Don’t politicise the issue, says woman’s family
Meanwhile, the brother of the woman and some relatives requested the political parties not to politicise the issue, since it would 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.
An advocate, representing the survivor, said police have arrested the people identified in their complaint.
“We are looking forward to further action,” he said.
(With PTI inputs)