The Pollachi scandal in which four youth have been accused of sexual harassment of many women blew up not because any of the victims complained to the police but due to a police complaint by the accused themselves.
Three weeks after the scandal broke, investigators are surprised how the accused could have dared to go to the police on a related complaint and expect the police to not latch on to the horrid crimes they had been committing over several years.
On Feb 12, N Sabarirajan, one of the accused, asked one of his Facebook friends out for lunch, said Pollachi police. He fixed the Oonjavelampatti bus stand near Pollachi in Coimbatore district as the rendezvous point. When the 19-year-old girl got onto his car, he allegedly made sexual advances towards her, while the three others in the car allegedly tried to capture it on their mobile phone video.
According to the police, the girl started screaming and yelled that she wanted to get down. But the accused threatened her and demanded that she pay them money. After managing to get them to stop the car, she got down on Dharapuram Road, some 25 km from where she got in, she cried and complained to a few passers-by but to no avail. That night, she narrated the incident to her family members, identifying the youth, the police said.
The girl apparently told them that the four youth had taken a video of her and threatened to post it on social media. Thereafter, her enraged brother gathered a few of his friends, abducted Sabarirajan and Thirunavukkarasu, another accused, on Feb 13 and took them to their farmhouse only to thrash them. When asked for the video, the duo replied that they did not have any. But when the brother of the girl and his friends seized their mobile phones, they found videos of several girls who were being allegedly sexually exploited. The bashing continued for nearly two days, after which the two were released, the police said.
Recently, WhatsApp videos of them bashing up the two at their farmhouse went viral. It is not clear what made Thirunavukkarasu and Sabarirajan approach the police. After lodging a complaint on Feb 15 at the Pollachi Town police station, they went and admitted themselves in an hospital for treatment.
When the police visited the house of the girl’s brother and his friends to inquire, they fled but later told their parents who allegedly approached a senior AIADMK leader in Pollachi. The leader too allegedly referred them to the police who took the case up and realized that what was at stake was something far bigger. The police convinced the girl to file a complaint, based on which they started their investigation.
Meanwhile, a few videos in the accused mobile have been doing the rounds on WhatsApp despite the police warning against their circulation. Police said that the victim’s family members had perhaps shared some of the videos with their friends for the record but subsequently lost control over its circulation.