Mother of Thirunavukkarasu, the key accused in the Pollachi sexual abuse case, spoke to The Lede exclusively, insisting that her son is innocent and the victim of business rivalry
At the home of Thirunavukkarasu in Pollachi, his mother Latha is a wreck. She has been running from pillar to post to convince the courts, the police and the media that her son is, as she claims, innocent of the serial sexual abuse of young women in Pollachi.
Thirunavukkarasu is the key accused in the Pollachi sexual abuse case, which is being investigated by Tamil Nadu’s CB-CID until the CBI takes over. He was arrested on 05 March by the Pollachi police and has been lodged in jail, denied bail by a local court. Three others have been accused and jailed in the same case – Sabarirajan, Satish and Vasanthakumar.
“He (Thirunavukkarasu) has studied MBA. After his studies were completed, he had visited our Chinnampalayam house and was returning, when he had a car accident,” she said. This accident took place in December 2017, she claims.
“He had to undergo open surgery and plastic surgery. He was not even able to talk. When Thirunavukkarasu finally began to speak, he would call his mother ‘Akka’ (elder sister in Tamil). We spent lakhs to save his life. He takes pills even today for that surgery that he had to undergo,” she said.
Thirunavukkarasu then decided to go into what is locally called the ‘finance’ business – which is basically private moneylending with daily collection of interest. This business is rife in Pollachi and generally has high interest rates.
“I asked my husband about this. Initially he refused, but afterward he sold a 110-cent plot, gave 4 acres of land on lease, and gave him Rs 12 lakhs to start his business. Apart from his father, his sister gave him Rs 5,000, his grandmother Rs 60,000. He also used the accident compensation of Rs 5 lakhs to begin his finance business,” said his mother Latha. “You can check with the auditor about when and how this money came. You will know whether this has been earned through harassing women or not. Thirunavukkarasu would leave at 6 am every morning and return home at 10.30 pm. Both he and Vasanthakumar would come home to eat after daily collections.”
Latha told The Lede that Thirunavukkarasu had in fact himself been “cheated” by two girls, who he had been in love with.
“He has not cheated girls. He was in love with a relative for many years. That girl was very much in love with him as well. The engagement was conducted and we had even given an advance to book the marriage hall for the wedding. It was then that Thiru found a photo of her in questionable clothes, with another guy. He refused to marry her.
“After that, the daughter of a jeweller got interested in him. He too, liked that girl very much. He has her name tattooed on his hand. I got both of them married at home itself. But the girl’s family did not know about the marriage. The girl said that after some days, she would convince her family and then they could have a big wedding. During that time, Thiru was admitted in hospital, and that girl married someone else. He has not cheated anyone. He has in fact been cheated by two girls. He himself is sick – how will he cheat another person?” she asked.
Thirunavukkarasu bought a car and was working as a “financier”. Two residents of Pollachi, Sudhan and Dinesh, took Rs 6 lakhs loan from Thirunavukkarasu, according to Latha. On 16 February, she said, they both picked him up from home, saying that they would return the money.
“He went along with them to the Valparai road, where there is an Anjaneyar temple. More than 50 people turned up in cars and took Thirunavukkarasu to a farm near Arasoor. There, they beat him black and blue, taking away his jewellery, money and cellphone,” claims Latha. She added that the gang was led by one Paramaguru, a rival financier and a resident of Pollachi who is also a friend of the brother of the complainant in the Pollachi sexual abuse case.
This is the incident where the brother of the complainant and his friends beat up Sabarirajan and Thirunavukkarasu, for alleged sexual abuse.
“Vasanthakumar was with them at that time. The gang told him that they will not beat him up. They told him to go to Thirunavukkarasu’s house and bring the documents from there,” continued Latha. It is unclear as to what documents she is referring to.
“Vasanthakumar came home bleeding. He was in a car. I asked him what happened. The car that had brought Vasanthakumar sped away. He just kept saying that there is a problem, so I went along with him to the location,” said Latha.
Using Latha’s phone, Vasanthakumar informed Satish and other friends that Thirunavukkarasu and Sabarirajan were attacked by a gang near Arasoor.
“Neither Sabarirajan nor my son were there when we reached,” said Latha. “There were broken sticks lying all over the place. It looked like a war zone.”
By this time, three of Satish’s friends went looking for Paramaguru and his men. They found three of them sitting in a jeep. Satish and friends then beat up the three and took the jeep with them.
“I was sitting by the roadside waiting to be picked up by Vasanthakumar, when Paramaguru, his friend Loka Vignesh and 50 others carrying knives, stones, sickles and pipes came up and told me – “You will take your son home only with a strainer when we are done with him.” I pleaded with them saying that Thirunavukkarasu has already been operated on the head, please don’t beat him,” said Latha.
By around midnight, Latha was asked by Vasanthakumar to go back home to Pollachi. Early on 17 February, his friends took Thirunavukkarasu in a car to a private hospital in Coimbatore.
“There was no space for me in the car so I took a bus to Coimbatore and they asked me to come to Coimbatore Medical Centre Hospital. My son was in ICU when I reached there. He had stitches on his body, his legs and they were bleeding. The colour of his skin had changed,” she said.
The Police Come Knocking
When he was in hospital, one of Thirunavukkarasu’s friends called Latha and said that there is a possibility that the police would arrest him. The Kottur Sub-Inspector arrived and questioned Thirunavukkarasu.
“We thought that if the police came, they would arrest him. So we got him discharged from the hospital on 20 February. They gave him pills and sent him home. After this I sent him to Tirupati,” said Latha.
On 24 February, an FIR was lodged against Thirunavukkarasu, Sabarirajan, Satish and Vasanthakumar for sexually abusing a 19-year-old woman. The next day, Sabarirajan, Satish and Vasanthakumar were arrested.
“After Thiru went into hiding, the police threatened my daughter and me and took away our cellphones. I spoke to Thiru over the phone and told him about how the police are harassing me, his sister and grandmother. He then said that he would return on Monday,” she said.
On 04 March, Thirunavukkarasu released a video through WhatsApp and social media, stating that he was innocent of the charges against him. He also stated that he would return the next day to Pollachi.
On 05 March, Monday, Thirunavukkarasu arrived and Latha found out about his arrest while watching television.
A Mother Defends Her Son
“When I met my son in jail, he told me that he was at a Congress party public meeting in Coimbatore on 12 February. He asked me to see the 13 February newspaper,” she said. She added that this proved that the complaint against him was false and motivated.
After his arrest, Latha filed a police complaint stating that their Chinnappapalayam farmhouse had been broken into, the doors and cupboards broken and documents and money stolen.
With the CB-CID taking over the case from the local police, she was questioned by the team. “They searched the Chinnappapalayam house in my presence,” she said.
On reports of a laptop having been recovered from the Chinnappapalayam house, Latha says there was no laptop there. “They did not take any laptop from our house, I do not know where they got it from,” she said.
“My son’s cellphone was with them (the gang of alleged attackers) from 16 February. They could have loaded anything onto it. They could have called some women, set it up and taken videos. My son is not there in those videos.
“The photos that are doing the rounds on social media are those of Thiru’s own younger sister. They would always keep snapping pictures together. Without even realising that they are brother and sister, people are saying such slanderous and false things about them. My daughter is crying, refusing to go to college. She keeps saying she wants to commit suicide,” said Latha.
The Lede could not independently verify whether this statement is true, since Thirunavukkarasu’s sister had relocated to Coimbatore to avoid media attention.
Latha says that the family is in dire straits. “Those who have taken loans from us are not repaying us anymore. If we ask them, they are threatening us saying they will tell the police. We are deep in debt – worth lakhs. One person has already been sent to jail. At this rate, all of us will end up in the cemetery. My daughter and I need protection. My son should get justice,” she said.