Residence of the key accused is searched as protests continue across Tamil Nadu
CB-CID (Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department), an elite branch of the Tamil Nadu police on Thursday, March 14, filed a petition before the Judicial Magistrate court in Coimbatore requesting custody of the key accused Thirunavukkarasu in the Pollachi sexual abuse case.
A magistrate is expected to hear the petition on Friday. Thirunavukkarasu was arrested on March 05 and sent to judicial custody.
CB-CID officers searched key accused Thirunavukkarasu’s residence in Pollachi on Thursday and Friday.
A senior CB-CID officer told The Lede that the department will continue its investigation into the case until the CBI takes over. The state government had issued an order on March 13 transferring the case to the CBI.
It has been two days of holidays for the colleges in Pollachi and Udumalaipet. Public anger continues to be expressed in protests across Pollachi town itself as well as the rest of the state.
In Kumbakonam, the Bar Association held protests over the Pollachi sexual abuse case.
In Chennai, a human chain has been planned on the Marina Beach at 4 pm on Friday, March 15. This has been called for by the All Women’s Confederation.
The Lede verified with Pollachi DSP Jayaraman regarding the procedure undertaken by the police following the FIR lodged by the 19-year-old complainant in Pollachi East Police Station on February 24.
In cases involving sexual harassment or abuse of women, it is the police’s duty to ensure that the complainant gives her statement before a judicial magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code).
Pollachi DSP Jayaraman confirmed to The Lede that this had indeed been done.
Another procedure to be adopted by the police is that a lady officer must be assigned to the case and that senior officers should immediately take over.
This does not seem to have been followed. Only a lady constable was sent to assist the male Inspector. The Superintendent of Police, Coimbatore came into the picture only in late February when the issue heated up.
The brother of the complainant had told The Lede that he had, on February 17, handed over mobile phones belonging to the four accused and lodged a complaint with the police about the gang of four being in possession of such videos.
(Read the interview with the complainant and her brother here: https://thelede.co.in/exclusive-pollachi-sexual-abuse-complainant-says-not-sexually-abused/)
This complaint appears to have been made at the Kottur Police Station. Since this is the first and the main complaint, this should ideally be investigated along with the other two cases which have been handed over to the CBI. It is unclear as to whether this complaint has even come under the ambit of the ongoing investigation.
Meanwhile the CB-CID has provided a number and an email address that people can contact if they wish to provide any further clues or information regarding the investigation.
In a statement, the CB-CID also assured other victims of sexual abuse complete anonymity and confidentiality, in a bid to encourage them to come forward.
The number to be contacted is : 94884 42993