New Delhi: Three months after a 19-year-old student was allegedly sexually assaulted and then blackmailed by four men in Tamil Nadu’s Pollachi, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Friday filed the first chargesheet in the case.
The chargesheet, which has been filed in Coimbatore within two months of the CBI taking up the case, mentions in detail the names and role of five accused — Sabarirajan, who worked as a site supervisor in a private company, K. Thirunavukkarasu and T. Vasanthkumar, both money-lenders, M. Sathish, who ran a textile shop, and R. Manni, a businessman.
All five have already been arrested and booked for rape, sexual harassment, extortion, assault or use of criminal force against woman, and under sections of the Information Technology act.
According to the CBI, the incident was an “organised crime”, which was planned in advance by the five accused.
“It was found to be a clear case of organised crime. It also appears to be an ongoing extortion racket wherein the perpetrators extort money from women by blackmailing them. They first sexually assault them, then film the act and then blackmail them,” an investigating officer said.
“We have identified a few more suspects and have got some leads on them too. More arrests are likely,” he added.
The case history
On 24 February, Sabarirajan had allegedly called the victim to meet him alone on the pretext of discussing something important with her.
When the woman went to meet the accused, he allegedly asked her to accompany him in a car that was being driven by his friend Thirunavukkarasu, whom she knew. On the way, Sathish and Vasanthkumar joined them and the four then allegedly raped the woman. The accused men also allegedly filmed the gruesome act and then blackmailed her, demanding money and sexual favours. They even threatened to put up the videos on the internet if the woman refused to oblige.
Following the incident, the victim confided in her family and lodged a police complaint on 25 February. The next day, 26 February, the accused men allegedly assaulted the victim’s brother and threatened him against pursuing the case.
CBI filed fresh FIRs after taking over probe
It was later found that the accused men were part of a gang that is allegedly involved in assaulting and blackmailing women using the same modus operandi. Three members of this gang have already been arrested by the Tamil Nadu police and videos of women were recovered from their phones.
After the case was transferred to the CBI, two fresh FIRs were registered in the case.
The first FIR was based on the statement of the victim regarding the sexual assault on 24 February, and the second FIR was related to the assault on her brother on 26 February near his house in Pollachi.
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