Pollachi: On Monday (May 13), a fifth accused in connection with the Pollachi sexual assault case has been arrested in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.

The accused has been identified as Manivannan alias Mani, and has been sent to judicial custody until May 20. Mani surrendered before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the investigating agency said.

Mani is the fifth person arrested in the case, in the sex scandal in which more than 50 women were allegedly lured and sexually harassed by a gang of four men and the acts were videographed.

Also read: Pollachi sexual assault case: After 2 months, rape charge added in FIR

Four accused identified as Sabarirajan, Sathish, Thirunavukarasu and Vasan Kumar were previously arrested in the case. On April 27, the agency registered two cases and initiated an investigation into the case.

The sexual assault case was transferred to the Crime Branch-CID (CB-CID), a special wing of the CID, which initiated an inquiry into the matter on March 13 after receiving requisite documents from the local police. The CBI has planned to arrest a few more persons for investigations in connection with the case.

The sexual assault case first came to the fore when a college girl filed a complaint with the police in Pollachi after she was disrobed in a car by the accused. Three others were videographing the incident while she struggled to get out of the vehicle.

Also read: CBI officials take over investigation of Pollachi sexual harassment case

The magnitude of the situation was known after the police found that the gang had been indulging in such activities for the past two years across Tamil Nadu.

A criminal gang of five members identified as financier Thirunavukarasu, his associates Sabari Rajan, Vasanth Kumar, Satheesh and Manivannan were involved in the case.

The gang is believed to have sexually abused several women including school and college girls over a period of time, besides shooting personal videos of their victims and blackmailing them for money and jewels.

The incident triggered shock waves across the state forcing the government to transfer the case to the CBI.

Also read: Pollachi-like sexual assault in Tamil Nadu’s Perambalur

The officials are also questioning the public in and around Pollachi who allegedly borrowed money from Thirunavukarasu. CBI officials suspect the involvement of a few more in the case, and have planned to arrest them soon to proceed with the investigations. The scam became a huge poll issue.