The Tamil Nadu government has given its nod to hand over the Pollachi sexual assault and blackmail case to the CBI. The Pollachi case has rocked the political scenes with allegations of a ruling AIADMK functionary’s involvement in it, and the move to hand over the case to CBI is being seen as a bid to thwart the opposition’s effort to capitalise it politically.

The probe will involve analysis of mobile phones, social media posts of the four accused and the affected women.

The government had initially handed over the case to CB-CID wing of the state police from the Coimbatore police but later decided to give it to the CBI on the demand of opposition parties.

The Pollachi case hit national headlines after the Madras High Court rapped the media on Wednesday for poor coverage of the huge crime. There have also been huge protests by students, and women groups on social media.

On Thursday, security was stepped up in Pollachi, 535 km from Chennai, as protests started spreading. All colleges declared holidays as more facts about the cases of abuse came to the fore and students demanded action against the arrested accused Thirunavukkarasu, Sabarirajan, Vasanthakumar and Satish.

The police are yet to ascertain the exact number of accused involved with the gang.

According to reports, scores of women including college teachers, students and working professionals, were sexually assaulted, harassed and blackmailed by the gang.

Some videos have also surfaced purportedly showing that the victims were lured to secluded spots where they were sexually assaulted, filmed, and blackmailed for money.

Taking to Twitter, cricketer Ashwin Ravichandran, who has been following the case and commenting on it, posted on Twitter: “Protests in Pollachi?? Can anyone tell me what’s happening there right now??”

He also retweeted a few posts shared by others regarding the case.

On Wednesday, Ashwin had posted: “There are so many pressing issues that need to be addressed in my state and my country. Every morning, I open Twitter and tell myself “justice can be delayed and not denied” “change is inevitable etc.”

“All the above quotes are just to cheat my emotions and not say something that will land me in trouble with the concerned people. I would like to reiterate and say “change is inevitable” but remember we need to be the change and initiate it rather than sit back and complain about authorities or lack of justice. Now don’t ask me what I am talking about and start guessing what it could be. Just get on with changing what you feel needs a change,” he said in a series of tweets.

On Wednesday, in a bid to strengthen its agitation against the state government, DMK MP Kanimozhi staged a protest in Pollachi. She demanded that the police re-investigate suicide cases of college students and women that had occurred in the past seven years in Pollachi. Police sources revealed that the gang was suspected to be operating in Pollachi for the past six to seven years.

(With agency inputs)