- 2019 Pollachi sexual assault case is being investigated by the CBI
- The accused have been remanded to 14 days in judicial custody
- Five others were arrested in 2019
Three more people, including a youth wing member of the ruling AIADMK, were arrested on Wednesday in the 2019 Pollachi sexual assault case being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
One of the three arrested today has been identified as K Arunanandam. He has now been expelled from AIADMK.
The accused have been remanded to 14 days in judicial custody, the police said.
With this, the total number of those arrested in the two-year-old case has gone up to eight. Five others -- Sabarirajan alias Riswanth, K Thirunavukkarasau, M Sathish, T Vasanth Kumar and R Mani --- were arrested in 2019.
The case came to light in February 2019 after a 19-year-old woman lodged a complaint stating that a group of men had allegedly stripped her inside a car near Pollachi, shot a video of the act and then blackmailed her.
Police probe revealed that a network of men, including the accused, had similarly harassed and blackmailed a large number of women - reportedly over 50 - in Coimbatore's Pollachi town.
The accused allegedly befriended these women on social media sites and coaxed them to meet in person. According to reports, some women were also raped by the accused.
The issue acquired political overtones after the 19-year-old victim's brother was allegedly attacked by an AIADMK functionary, triggering public outrage and attacks by state's main opposition party, the DMK.
The Tamil Nadu government subsequently transferred the case to the CB-CID police and then to the CBI, which filed a chargesheet and called it a case of "organised crime".