“Many of them are saying we are politicising the issue. Nobody wants to politicise this. But if the government acts only after the matter becomes politicised, then what else can be done?” thundered DMK MP Kanimozhi in a protest rally organised in Pollachi on Tuesday.
Speaking at a rally organised by the DMK, Kanimozhi tore into the ruling AIADMK government and the police force investigating the sexual assault case that had put the limelight on the small town in Coimbatore district.
The case came to light after a survivor filed a police complaint against four men, who assaulted her and took pictures and videos of her in a car. They then used these videos to extort money from her for around two weeks, after which she filed a complaint. The police arrested four men, whom the survivor had given complaint against and confiscated their mobile phones. However, the police suspect that these men may not be first time offenders and may have been committing similar crimes for the past seven years.
Slamming the Superintendent of Police Pandiarajan for revealing the name of the survivor in the case during a press-meet, Kanimozhi said that the law strictly prohibits revealing the identity of the affected child or woman. “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.
The rally organised by the district DMK unit in Pollachi, saw massive participation from DMK cadres from in and around the town and also from cadres of its allies like the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), Communist Party of India (CPI), Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Congress etc.
“We don’t know whom the police is trying to protect by underplaying the issue and arresting only four men,” she said, adding that AIADMK party functionaries are involved in the case and that the police has not acted against them.
“If this network has been committing such crimes for seven years, is the police trying to make people believe that only four people are involved in this?... the police must probe all the suicides and unnatural death cases involving women in the past 7-8 years in this region,” she said and narrated an incident involving AIADMK leader Pollachi Jayaraman’s son a few years ago, “The relative of an AIADMK leader was only driving the car. The police closed the case, released the accused immediately after he was arrested. But today, we get the doubt if that was an accident or not. Was one of the women in the car thrown out accidentally or if she was murdered,” she said.
Kanimozhi also registered her severe disappointment with the district police force, which was tasked with the investigation till Tuesday. “The SP, the one who has immense respect on women and slapped a woman who was protesting against TASMAC. That sister is not able to hear anything now, her eardrums have been damaged. I don’t even want to talk about the DSP,” she said. Her references were about an incident during a protest against TASMAC a few years ago, when SP Pandiarajan had slapped a women protester and the photos of the act went viral. The DSP in this case, R Jeyaram was also caught on camera, touching a woman colleague in uniform, during a NEET-related protest in Coimbatore.
“In our society, in our country, nobody is beyond questioning… so don’t forget the people and the media...Today you are transferring the case to CB-CID and slapping Goondas Act on the accused. What were you doing all these days?” she questioned.
Shortly after the rally concluded, the police detained Kanimozhi and her supporters and lodged them in a marriage hall in the town. However, they were let off in a few hours.
The case was transferred to CB-CID on Tuesday and by the end of the day, reports stated that the government has decided to transfer the case to CBI.