Horror in Pollachi: on sexual assault
case (The Hindu)
Mains Paper 2: Society
Prelims level: Not much
Mains level: Crimes on women
- The Tamil Nadu government’s decision to transfer the ‘Pollachi
sexual abuse case’ to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) gives the
case rightful priority, and the agency must swiftly unravel the sexual
assault and blackmail racket that has victimised a number of young women.
- The case had its origins in a complaint of sexual harassment,
assault and robbery in a town in Coimbatore district.
- While the arrest of the accused was made in end-February, the case
created a storm early this week when a leaked video found its way into the
- Sourced from the phones of those who were arrested, it had a woman
piteously pleading with her abusers to leave her alone.
Highlights of the incident
- An initial investigation has indicated that the scale of the
operations of the four young men in Pollachi might be much larger than is
- Among the accused was a member of the All India Anna Dravida
Munnetra Kazhagam (who has since been removed from the party’s membership),
and Opposition parties allege that the case involves those much higher in
the State’s ruling party leadership.
- The public outrage that ensued had the government first ordering
that the case be transferred to the Crime Branch-CID, and then in just a
day, to the CBI.
- With the Lok Sabha polls and critical Assembly by-elections around
the corner, the political glow on the case is likely to be accentuated.
Significance of this incident
- It is important that even as the investigation proceeds to nail
the guilty and establish the scale of the abuse and blackmail crimes, the
women’s identity and their privacy be strictly protected.
- The State Women’s Commission has promised that it will conduct an
investigation into the matter, providing telephone numbers that victims can
call to lodge complaints with complete confidentiality.
- The National Commission for Women has expressed serious concern
over the safety of women in Tamil Nadu.
- In a letter to the State DGP, its Chairperson has asked that
appropriate action be taken, and sought an action taken report.
- The government cannot wash its hands of the matter with the
transfer of the case to the CBI.
- It must allow and assist in a free and fair probe into the
incidents to bring justice to the victims, and to ensure their dignity and
anonymity are maintained.
- In this election season, the ruling and Opposition parties must
summon their political morality by articulating the gravity of the crime and
refraining from trying to make political capital out of this heinous crime.
- Sexual assault and blackmail are dark crimes the guilty must be
brought to book. And the women and their families must be assured of justice
Q.1) Which of the following electoral reforms have been implemented to
make the elections more fair and transparent?
1. Equitable sharing of air time on television by political parties.
2. Reporting of contribution in excess of Rs 1,000 to the Election Commission.
3. Declaration of criminal antecedents by the candidates.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Q.1) Cases of sexual assault and blackmail must be pursued swiftly and
the guilty brought to book. Critically analyse the statement.