Pollachi sexual harassment: Woman protestor attempts self-immolation

Pollachi sexual harassment: Woman protestor attempts self-immolation

Erode: A 23-year-old woman DMK functionary made a vain attempt to commit suicide by setting herself ablaze at the district collectorate here, demanding severe action against all the accused in the Pollachi sexual harassment case.

She was later arrested, police said.

Veeramani, deputy organiser of Erode DMK district literary wing, doused herself with kerosene and tried to set herself afire.

However, the police personnel on duty in the collectorate thwarted the self-immolation bid and took her to Erode South Police station.

A case was registered and she was remanded to judicial custody.

Earlier, about 250 members of the Erode South DMK district women's wing staged a demonstration here and dropped a petition at the collectorate, seeking action against those involved in the sensational case.

A gang of four men had on February 12 allegedly tried to strip a 19-year-old woman inside a car near Pollachi in Coimbatore district and had recorded 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 gang 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.

On March 12, hours after assigning the case to the CB-CID the government had decided to hand over the matter to the CBI.

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