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CB-CID hands over documents of Pollachi sexual harassment case to CBI

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Press Trust of India Chennai
The Crime Branch CID wing of Tamil Nadu police Monday handed over all documents relating to the Pollachi sexual harassment case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The CBI had taken over the investigation into the case from the state police.
CB-CID Superintendent of Police Nisha Parthiban, who was heading the probe, had recorded the statement of 40 witnesses, besides subjecting various material to forensic tests.
"All related documents have been handed over to the CBI by CB-CID on April 29," a release by the CB-CID said.
The case pertains to alleged sexual harassment of a woman at Pollachi in Coimbatore district by a gang of men, who shot a video of the incident and blackmailed her for money.
The central agency has registered two FIRs in the matter --one pertaining to sexual harassment of the woman and another related to assault on her brother -- against different sets of the accused.
The gang is believed to have sexually harassed and blackmailed a large number of women in Tamil Nadu, which triggered an outrage in the state.
Citing the need for specialised attention, dedicated investigation with technical expertise and the extremely serious nature of the crime, the state government had given its consent, transferring the harassment and assault case from the state's CB-CID to the CBI.
A four-member gang had on February 12 allegedly tried to strip the woman inside a car near Pollachi, over 500 km from Chennai, and shot a video of the act and blackmailed her using the visuals.
The victim, who managed to free herself, lodged a complaint with police on February 24.
The case assumed political overtones since a local functionary of the ruling AIADMK allegedly attacked the victim's brother.
The attack by the functionary, who was later expelled from the AIADMK, coupled with reports in a section of media that the gang had sexually harassed several other women, led to an outrage.
The issue eventually snowballed into a political row and the main opposition DMK targeted the AIADMK, asking if it was protecting the accused persons.
A slew of protest demonstrations by parties, including the DMK, students and youth outfits escalated the row, bringing more pressure on the government and police for speedy action.
The four accused in the case -- Sabarirajan, Sathish, Thirunavakkarasu and Vasanthkumar -- are under judicial custody.
They were booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act and the Goondas Act.
Nagaraj, the expelled AIADMK functionary, is one of the accused in the assault case, besides Senthil, Babu, Manivannan and Vasanthakumar.

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First Published: Apr 29 2019 | 4:45 PM IST

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