A case of sexual assault and extortion of a college student in Tamil Nadu’s Pollachi has been handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The state government had earlier recommended the transfer of the case to the central probing agency and received the go-ahead from Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Wednesday.
According to one report in The Hindu, the state government invoked Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 (Consent of State to exercise of powers and jurisdiction) which conferred the requisite powers to members of the Delhi Special Police Establishment. Quoting a Government Order issued by the Director General of Police TK Rajendran, the newspaper also reports that the case was recommended for a transfer on account of it being extremely serious, warranting special attention. The DGP also stated the case involved specialised technical expertise with regard to analysis internet and Facebook usage.
The transfer of the case to the CBI comes days after the release of a video showing one such assault which provoked massive online outrage in the state. On Tuesday, the case had been transferred to the CB-CID.
On February 24, a college student from Pollachi registered a complaint with a local police station, alleging that four men -- Thirunavukkarasu, Sathish, Sabarirajan and Vasanthakumar -- sexually assaulted her in a car under the pretext of a friendly meeting on February 12. The men also shot videos of the survivor and later used them to blackmail and extort money from her, police say.
When the survivor confided in her family about the blackmail, her brother Subhash* confronted the men about the crime, which soon escalated into a physical altercation. Subhash went on to assault the four men. Later, Subhash lodged a complaint with the police. Three of the accused Sabarirajan, Vasanthakumar and Sathish were arrested on February 24, while Thirunavukkarasu was apprehended on March 5. On Tuesday, the police also slapped the Goondas Act on the four accused. The four main accused have not gotten bail.