Pollachi Sexual Abuse: Editor Moves HC for Bail on Release of Sexual Abuse Videos
On March 15, the Madras High Court had directed the authorities concerned to take steps to delete all video clips on social media relating to the sexual harassment.
Chennai: The editor of Tamil bi-weekly Nakkheeran, R Gopal, has moved the Madras High Court, seeking anticipatory bail in connection with videos that were allegedly released on the Pollachi sexual abuse case.
He submitted that the cybercrime wing, acting on a complaint from Deputy Speaker Pollachi Jayaraman, had registered cases against him under sections 153, 153 (A), 505, 469 of the IPC and Section 66 of the Information Technology Act.
Alleging that ‘foisting’ such a case against him was nothing but blatant misuse of power, Gopal said, “The mala fide intention of the complainant is to scare any other media from publishing any evidence in connection with the Pollachi sexual abuse case.”
The case relates to sexual harassment of a 19-year-old woman in a car by a four-member gang near Pollachi in Coimbatore district on February 12.
The accused had tried to strip her, shot a video of the act and blackmailed her. She managed to free herself and lodged a complaint with police on February 24.
The case assumed political overtones after a local AIADMK functionary allegedly attacked the victim’s brother. The functionary was later expelled from the party.
The attack, coupled with reports in a section of media that the gang had sexually harassed several other women, led to an outrage and protests.
The issue snowballed into a political row and the main opposition DMK targeted the AIADMK, asking if it was protecting the accused persons.
On March 15, the Madras High Court had directed the authorities concerned to take steps to delete all video clips on social media relating to the sexual harassment of women by the gang which had allegedly used them to blackmail victims.
The court had observed that release of such videos on social media had taken a toll on the mental well being of the victims and their relatives and directed police to maintain vigil to prevent recurrence of such incidents.
After assigning the case to the CB-CID on March 12, the government had issued an order for a CBI probe in the wake of allegations that several other women had been assaulted.
The four accused are under judicial custody and were booked under various sections of the IPC, Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act and the Goondas Act.