Citing the need for specialised attention, dedicated investigation with technical expertise and the extremely serious nature of the crime, the government gave its consent transferring the harassment and a related assault case from the CB-CID to the CBI.
A gang of four men had on February 12 allegedly tried to strip the woman inside a car near Pollachi, over 500 km from here, and had shot a video of the act and blackmailed her using the visuals.
The victim, who managed to free herself, lodged a complaint with police on February 24.
The case assumed political overtones since a local functionary of ruling AIADMK allegedly attacked the victim’s brother.
The attack by the functionary, who was later expelled from AIADMK, coupled with reports in a section of media that the gand had sexually harassed several other women led to an outrage.
The issue eventually snowballed into a political row and main opposition DMK targeted the AIADMK asking if it was protecting the accused persons.
A slew of protest demonstrations by parties including the DMK, students, and youth outfits escalated the row, bringing more pressure on the government and police for speedy action.
Meanwhile, the police has beefed up security in Pollachi and a majority of colleges there were closed on Thursday to ensure that students did not resort to agitation again.
More visuals of the gang have surfaced in the social media, heightening suspicion about them among the people, Coimbatore district police said.
On March 12, hours after assigning the case to the CB-CID the government had decided to hand over the matter to the CBI.
The four accused in sexual harassment case — Sabarirajan, Thirunavakkarasu, Sathish and Vasanthkumar are under judicial custody and were booked under various sections of the IPC, Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act and the Goondas Act.
Nagaraj, the expelled AIADMK functionary is one of the accused in the assault case besides Senthil, Babu, Manivannan and Vasanthakumar.