Massive crowds converge in various parts of Pollachi as anger boils over
Spontaneous public anger was on display in Pollachi as students and residents sat in protest at various places, demanding the arrest of all those involved in the serial sexual abuse case.
Students sat outside the Pollachi municipality, chanting slogans, demanding that the “rest of the accused” be arrested.
They were subsequently dispersed by the police.
In Coimbatore, students of the Government Arts College boycotted classes and sat in protest. They demanded that the victim be given adequate protection and condemned “political interference” in the case.
In another protest on Valparai road, residents vented their anger against the TASMAC (Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation) liquor retail outlet and bar run by ‘Bar’ Nagaraj. ‘Bar’ Nagaraj was a lower rung worker of the AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) in Pollachi and was removed from the party when he was arrested by the police for threatening the brother of the victim after the complaint was filed.
‘Bar’ Nagaraj was released on bail in a day by the police. Angry residents demanded Nagaraj’s arrest and asked why the police had let him go within a day without pursuing investigations into his involvement. They smashed the TASMAC bar run by him and said that if the police did not arrest ‘Bar’ Nagaraj by Wednesday evening, they would come back on Thursday to do more damage.
While four men have been arrested and charged with the Goondas Act, protesters say they are convinced that many others are involved in the crime.
Many versions of the case have done the rounds of social media in the past few days, fueling fear and rage amongst the people of Pollachi.
For instance, there are differing versions as to how many people are actually involved. While the district police claims that only four are involved and that all four have been arrested, rumours abound that the gang of serial sexual harassers is far larger.
Coimbatore SP R Pandiarajan stated that only four videos had been recovered from the mobile phones of the accused. But rumours abound of hundreds of victims of the gang.
It is also unclear as to how many years this gang of serial sexual harassers have been exploiting young women in Pollachi.
The National Commission for Women, upon reviewing various media reports, has sought an action taken report from the DGP of Tamil Nadu.