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    Sex Scandal Involving Social Media, Smartphones Rocks Southern India

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    A gang of men sexually assaulted at least 60 girls over the last seven years. They would use social media platforms to befriend vulnerable girls, invite them over to a designated place, sexually assault them while recording videos on smartphones, and then blackmail them by threatening to upload the videos online.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Pollachi, a scenic town in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is in the eye of a storm with the revelation of an appalling scandal involving a gang of men who went on a rampage assaulting scores of girls, video-recording the act and blackmailing the victims with the threats of uploading the videos online, all with utmost impunity, according to the local media.

    READ MORE: Two Arrested for Rape and Murder of Minor Girl in India – Reports

    While the scandal has taken a political tint with the opposition blaming the governing AIADMK of trying to shield the accused, the government has taken the matter from the state police and handed it over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the country's apex investigating authority, considering the gravity of the scandal, NDTV reported.

    The scandal was unearthed when a young woman complained last week that the accused tried to disrobe her inside a car while they filmed the act on camera.

    When she tried to resist, the accused allegedly threatened her with uploading the content online. The woman narrated the incident to her brother, who caught hold of the four accused and thrashed them, forcing them to confess their crime on camera. The video was then uploaded on social media, sparking outrage, with thousands of students taking to the streets demanding immediate action against the accused.

    READ MORE: India Seeks Help From Google & Microsoft to Combat Online Child Porn

    On Wednesday, National Commission for Women Chairperson Rekha Sharma wrote to Tamil Nadu Director General of Police T.K. Rajendran underlining the need for strict action against the accused. "It is reported that several girls and women from schools and colleges have been harassed and use (sic) the filmed video to blackmail them. The Commission is seriously concerned about the safety and security of women in the state of Tamil Nadu", read the NCW letter uploaded on Twitter.

    "Considering the gravity of the matter, it is requested that appropriate action be taken as per the relevant provisions of law against all of the accused and a detailed action taken a report in the matter be sent to the Commission", the letter further read. 

    Four of the accused identified by the complainant have been arrested by the Tamil Nadu police. Police have confirmed that upon interrogation, the accused confessed to having sexually assaulted scores of other women, at least sixty over the course of seven years, according to India Today.

     There is also a strong sentiment against the Tamil Nadu police among the people, alleging laxity in handling the case. 

     However, the Police have nabbed the mastermind of the gang and further investigation is ongoing. 

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    social media abuse, Sexual Assault, Rape, sexual abuse, India, Tamil Nadu
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