Image used for representational purposes.
(Photo: The Quint)
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)-led Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday, 23 March, handed over the Virudhunagar sexual assault case to the CB-CID, amid uproar from the Opposition over two of the eight accused being DMK functionaries.
Stating that the accused had been arrested within 24 hours of the filing of the case, Chief Minister MK Stalin said that unlike the Pollachi case that had unfolded in a similar manner, the perpetrators of this case would be punished soon.
A 22-year-old Dalit woman was sexually assaulted by eight people for several months by threatening to leak her private videos. The accused DMK functionaries Hariharan (27) and Junaith Ahamed (27) have been suspended from the party.
The poster here shows the two DMK functionaries who are the key accused.
The other six accused have been identified as Praveen (21), Madasamy (37), and four minors – two belonging to Class XII, and others from Classes IX and XI.
The complaint states that Hariharan alias Saravanan (27) had befriended the woman over social media, and the two had gotten into a physical relationship, which was recorded on video by the former.
Hariharan then showed the video to his three friends and gave them the woman's contact details, following which they blackmailed and raped her multiple times.
A man named Madaswamy (37), the woman's neighbour who she had approached for help against the accused, also used the video to threaten and sexually assault her.
The incident came to light after the survivor approached the women's helpline number 181.
While AIADMK MPs staged a walkout from the ongoing Assembly session of the state on Wednesday, DMK MP Kanimozhi condemned the incident.
Taking to Twitter, she said: "Strict action must be taken irrespective of who has committed the heinous crime."
Tamil Nadu BJP chief Annamalai said that he was shocked and saddened to learn about the incident.
Several others, including actor Sibi Sathyaraj, expressed shock over the incident.
The BJP has announced a protest on 24 March in Virudhunagar district, alleging that the government is not letting the police function properly due to political reasons.