The case involves gang members, who used to befriend women on social media, would lure them to meet and then forcefully shoot obscene videos.
The Tamil Nadu government on March 12 decided to hand over the investigation into the sex abuse cases of over 60 women at Pollachi, to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Tightening the screws on a gang that allegedly sexually harassed and blackmailed a 19-year-old woman in Coimbatore district, police also booked four accused under the Goondas Act.
The four, already under judicial custody, were booked under various sections of the IPC and Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act.
What is the case about?
The four men had on February 12 allegedly tried to strip the woman inside a car near Pollachi and had shot a video of the act and blackmailed her using the visuals.
Media reports, which claimed that the same gang had molested and blackmailed several other women, prompted political parties to demand a through probe and tough punishment for the accused.
The case involves gang members, who used to befriend women on social media, would lure them to meet and then forcefully shoot obscene videos. One such video, allegedly uploaded by one of the accused, had gone viral on social media.
Seeking to up the ante on the issue, the state’s principal Opposition party, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) led a demonstration at Pollachi.
Led by its Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, the outfit's cadres, including women, demanded tough action in the case. Addressing the cadres, Kanimozhi said the case and violence against the victim has brought shame and demanded action.
She alleged the same network of criminals who had harassed the woman was involved in molesting over 250 women in the past seven years. Kanimozhi also lauded the victim's courage for lodging a complaint.
Actor-politician Kamal Haasan had earlier met with Director General of Police TK Rajendran and sought his intervention to ensure justice for the victim. Haasan's party, Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), also took out a procession in Pollachi on March 12 demanding justice and tough action against the perpetrators.
AIADMK sacks party functionary
According to police, the 19-year-old woman who managed to free herself, lodged a complaint on February 24.
Subsequently, the victim's brother was assaulted by members of the gang and ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)'s local level functionary was also allegedly involved in it.
Four men, including the functionary, were arrested separately for the assault on the woman's brother, police said.
After the political reaction and the emergence of a leaked video, the AIADMK expelled the functionary, a ward secretary from the primary membership of the party on March 12.(With inputs from PTI)