A civic worker cleans a road in Chennai. File/ Agence France-Presse
CHENNAI: Crowds in Pollachi town on Thursday morning ransacked a bar owned by A. Nagaraj, a ruling Anna DMK leader accused of assaulting the brother of a young woman who exposed the sex abuse of nearly 250 women.
Nagaraj, known as ‘Bar Nagaraj,’ was taken into custody after the 19-year-old victim’s family lodged a complaint against him. The woman was the first to come out with details of the sex scam that has outraged the entire state.
Succumbing to pressure, Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy has ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe. The Central agency has formally taken over on Thursday and have started analysing the videos the men have captured of the victims.
A police act of illegally revealing the victim’s name led to an uproar, adding to pressures on the government. It is basic knowledge that a victim’s name and identity should be kept secret while the police are investigating a case of sexual assault. But on March 1, Coimbatore district police chief R. Pandiarajan held a televised press conference, during which he revealed the identity of the survivor in the Pollachi case. Yet again, on March 6, the police released a statement to the press, identifying the survivor with details including her name, educational background and locality.
Slamming Pandiarajan for revealing the name of the survivor, DMK leader Kanimozhi MP said the name was revealed only to silence the other victims and prevent them from coming out in the open and complaining. On Thursday, the survivor submitted a petition to the Coimbatore Collector, requesting protection of her identity.
A notification from the Home department stated that the decision to call in the CBI was taken by Governor Banwarilal Purohit under section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.
The order permitted the extension of powers and jurisdiction to members of the Delhi Special Police Establishment in the whole of Tamil Nadu.
“The Director General of Police, T K Rajendran, wanted the CBI to take over the case since the technical issues including analysing of Facebook data I.P.Logs/addresses and internet usage logs; the communication with Facebook service providers and other internet service providing places in various countries,” the order said.