Even as the Pollachi sexual assault case continues to rock Tamil Nadu with massive protests, the Chennai Police on Thursday registered a case against Sabareesan Vedamurthy, son-in-law of DMK president MK Stalin, on the charge of spreading rumours alleging involvement of ruling AIADMK functionaries in the issue.
Acting on a complaint by deputy speaker of Tamil Nadu assembly Pollachi V Jayaraman, the cyber crime wing of the city police registered the case.
Sabareesan has sent a legal notice to Jayaraman, threatening to sue him for remarks which tarnished his reputation and dignity.
The sexual assault case pertains to an organised gang in Pollachi town near Coimbatore befriending college students and women, including a doctor and housewives and luring them to places of their choice and sexually assaulting them and making videos of the act. Later, the victims were forced to oblige to their sexual demands and also extorted on the threat of publicising the videos.
Unable to bear the torture by the gang, a college girl opened up to her family and she lodged a complaint with the Pollachi police on February 12, accompanied by her brother. This had led to the arrest of eight people so far, including the kingpin of the gang, Thirunavukkarasu (25) and his associates, Sabarirajan (25), Sathish (28) and Vasantha Kumar (27).
An AIADMK functionary, A Nagaraj, who came to the defence of the accused and assaulted the sex abuse survivor’s brother, was booked but let off by the police. But he was expelled from the party. Now, fresh videos which have surfaced on Thursday showed Nagaraj’s active involvement in the case. Following this, his shop has been ransacked by irate locals.
DMK MP Kanimozhi had held a massive protest in Pollachi two days ago to press for justice for the victims.
“The gang had been having a free run for over seven years. Lives of several women and girls have been ruined. And this could not have continued without the patronage of influential people. The guilty have to be brought to book,” she had said.
Jayaraman, elected to the assembly from Pollachi constituency, had earlier alleged that the DMK and particularly Sabareesan, was behind the rumours being spread through the local media and on social media linking the case to AIADMK.
“The DMK is trying to gain political mileage by blowing this issue out of proportion and by tarnishing the image of the AIADMK ahead of the Lok Sabha election. Stalin’s son-in-law Sabareesan is behind the orchestrated campaign linking my family with this ,” he had told the media.
Cutting across party lines, political leaders have demanded a fair and speedy inquiry and stringent punishment for the guilty.
According to Jayaraman, he had advised the victim’s family, which approached him, to lodge a complaint and had ensured that action was taken.
But speculation is rife in local media about his son, Praveen’s, involvement in the . TN Women’s Commission chairperson Kannagi Packianathan had made it clear that the panel would summon Praveen if necessary for inquiry.
“The Commission would conduct an impartial inquiry. We would question the Coimbatore SP, R Pandiarajan, for making public the sex abuse survivor’s name. Also, we would call for inquiry, Pollachi Jayaraman’s son if necessary,” she had said.
While the CBI has taken over the case, the state government’s letter to the Centre recommending a probe by the premier investigating agency, had revealed the identity of the survivor, raising a fresh storm against the state government.
Initially, the Coimbatore SP had ruled out involvement of politicians or their wards and asserted that only four of the arrested were involved in the , drawing a lot of flak. Not only had he revealed the identity of the survivor, but he was also accused of trying to sabotage the probe from the beginning.
Rights activist, Henry Tiphagne of People’s Watch, said Coimbatore SP, R Pandiarajan should be removed immediately.