Officials Investigating Pollachi Sexual Assault Case Transferred

The three police officials, who were initially investigating the Pollachi assault case in Tamil Nadu, have been transferred. The Tamil Nadu Home Department issued the transfer orders to Coimbatore District Superintendent of Police R Pandiarajan, Pollachi Sub-Division DySP R Jayaram and Pollachi East Police Station Inspector A Natesan.

The transfer orders, which appear to be in light of elections, come weeks after the then Coimbatore District SP outed the name of the Pollachi survivor.

The orders signed by Additional Chief Secretary Niranjan Mardi reference a letter by the Election Commission dated 31 March.

The Pollachi sexual assault case first came to light in February. Based on the complaint of a survivor who approached the police, an FIR was filed on 24 February against four men involved in sexually assaulting and blackmailing her with a recorded video of the crime.

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However, what was first believed to be an isolated crime turned more ghastly as videos of survivors flooded social media. Four men – Thirunavukkarasu, Sathish, Sabarirajan (a) Riswandh and Vasanthakumar – were arrested by the police. It was later alleged that they were repeat offenders who have assaulted and extorted money from several women.

A Natesan was the investigating officer when the Pollachi police was handling the case. In a press conference, then Coimbatore SP R Pandiarajan went on to reveal the survivor’s identity, besides details of the total number of videos he received, number of accused. While the case was transferred from the local police to the state’s CB-CID on 12 March, the damage had been done.

The Madras High Court went on to slam the Coimbatore SP stating, “The irresponsible conduct of the police officer is highly condemnable by this court and it is appropriate to issue direction to the state government to take disciplinary action against the said police officer.”

However, it was not just the SP, the government also gave out details about the survivor and her family in the government order handing over the case to the CBI.

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The High Court also directed the state government to pay an interim compensation of Rs 25 lakh to the survivor for violating her privacy, dignity and image. As the Government Order (GO), issued by the Tamil Nadu Home Department revealed details of the survivor, the Madras High Court directed the state government to issue a fresh order. Till the fresh order is issued, the case will be investigated by the CB-CID.

Former Deputy Commissioner of Police for Traffic in Coimbatore city Sujit Kumar will be the new Coimbatore District SP, former Ooty District Crime Records Bureau DySP KG Sivakumar will be the new DySP of Pollachi sub-division and former inspector of the Naxal Special Division of Coimbatore district will be the inspector at the Pollachi East Police Station.

(This story was originally published by The News Minute and has been republished here with permission.)

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