The Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday arrested three more persons, including a youth wing member of Tamil Nadu’s ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazagham, in connection with the Pollachi serial sexual assault and blackmail case, NDTV reported. With this, eight people have been arrested so far – five arrests were made in 2019.
Those arrested on Wednesday have been identified as Arulanandham, Herine Paul and Babu aka Bike Babu. The accused were taken to Coimbatore Medical College and Hospital for medical examination, according to The Indian Express. Later, the Coimbatore Mahila Court remanded the trio to 14 days in judicial custody.
Arulanandham, 34, is the youth wing leader of the AIADMK in Pollachi town. The AIADMK released a statement removing Arunalanandham from basic membership of the party within minutes of his arrest. The party also instructed other members not to have any links with him.
The case relates to allegations that a gang of men have been befriending hundreds of women on social media and then sexually molesting them since 2013. In some cases, the men shot explicit videos of the women and used those to blackmail their victims, the police said.
The allegations of the sexual harassment and blackmail racket came to light on February 25, 2019, when a 19-year-old college student in Pollachi filed a complaint against them for sexually harassing her. On February 24, the brother of the college student who filed the case got into a scuffle with the four men. When the police intervened, the victim’s brother explained that the accused had embarrassing pictures and videos of his sister.
The agency had taken over the investigation on April 28, 2019, when it filed two first information reports in the case. The first FIR was based on the complaint of the college girl and the second FIR was based on her brother’s complaint. In May 2019, the CBI filed a chargesheet against five accused.