Though the investigation in the Pollachi sexual assault case is now with the CBI, the emotions the case has managed to kindle refuses to die down. Pollachi is all set to witness a total commercial shutdown on Tuesday. The shutdown is being organised by the trade unions in the town and supported by all political parties and the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) demanding a court-monitored probe in the issue.
Tamil Nadu has been witnessing a slew of protests by students, lawyers, traders, politicians, women etc demanding a fair and speedy investigation into a case that has sent shockwaves across the state.
The voices seeking fair probe also rose from districts across the state in the past week. College students in Thiruvarur, Coimbatore, Kumbakonam, Pudukkottai, Madurai etc have also expressed their disappointment with the manner in which the investigation is progressing at present. Students pursuing Siddha medicine in Tirunelveli also staged a protest on Monday pinning black tags onto their white coats. They demanded that those behind the crime be punished severely so that nobody else repeats the crime and sought improvement to ensure safety and security for women.
In Coimbatore, lawyers who are a part of the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Joint Action Committee (JAC) engaged in a court boycott on Monday demanding a court-monitored probe into the case. The association also sought the removal of Coimbatore SP R Pandiarajan from the post and adding his name as an accused in the case. The Pollachi police had revealed the identity of the complainant in a press release and the SP also followed suit in a press meet.
On March 12, the DMK held a massive protest led by Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi. Around 1,000 college students from institutions in and around Pollachi staged a protest last Wednesday demanding justice in the case. “We need instant justice, before the elections. We know that the case has been transferred to the CBI, but we feel it is just to postpone the probe,” said one of the students in the protest.
Meanwhile, the CB-CID, which had the main accused Thirunavukkarasu in its custody for the past four days, handed him over in Coimbatore central prison on Monday morning. In these four days, the CB-CID had conducted multiple inspections of Thirunavukkarasu’s farmhouse in Chinnappampalayam in Pollachi. The farmhouse is the alleged spot where Thirunavukkarasu used to bring women and film the sexual assault on them. The case was initially transferred to the CB-CID and then to the CBI since there were a lot of digital content to be analysed and probed.
The case involves a sexual assault and extortion racket in which the accused regularly trapped women using social media platforms, sexually assaulted them, videographed the act and then used it to blackmail them for money and sexual favours. The incident was brought to light when a college student who fell victim filed a police complaint in the last week of February.