Police officials who investigated Tamil Nadu sex scandal transferred

Published : April 01, 2019 14:37 IST

Finally, the police officials who presided over the investigation into the sex scandal in Pollachi near Coimbatore have been transferred. The transfers take effect on April 1.

Although the demand for shifting the entire police top brass in Coimbatore district was made long before the Election Commission’s formal announcement of the Lok Sabha election, the State government did not think it fit to do so.

In fact, a massive protest organised by the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) in Pollachi had demanded the shifting of the district police chief. A similar demand was made at a protest by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and its allies, besides an investigation into suicides of all women in the town in the past seven years.

Now, after more than a month – which is enough time to tamper with evidence – three police officials of the area have been transferred out. Apart from the shoddy investigation into the sex scandal, the officer in charge of the region, R. Pandiarajan, also revealed in a press conference the name of the woman complainant who had come forward to press charges. Subsequent media reports indicated that her brother was beaten up by some anti-social elements. Opposition political parties have contended that the presence of this police set-up in its entirety was the reason more women were not coming forward to press charges.

Despite questions having been raised over the Superintendent of Police’s conduct, Director General of Police T.K. Rajendran and Home Secretary Niranjan Mardi could not remove him from the post. Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, like all Chief Ministers before him, handles the Home department. Rajendran, who is himself under a cloud in the gutka scam, subsequently issued a circular, cautioning police officers against releasing names of women and children in conflict with the law. Former IPS officers asserted that the content of the circular was one of the first things they had been taught on entering the police service.   

The Pollachi sex scandal case itself was so botched up that soon after massive protests by political parties, the DGP, on March 12, announced that it was transferring the case to the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department. Within hours of this announcement, the government changed its stance and said the case would be transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation. 

The DSP in charge of Pollachi subdivision, R. Jayaram, and the inspector in charge of the Pollachi East Police station, A. Natesan, too have been transferred. The Election Commission approved these transfers on March 31.

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