COIMBATORE: Five women lodged in the government home here escaped on Saturday night after throwing chilli powder on the faces of a warden and a cook and tying them up with sarees.
“We have two wardens and two cooks who work in shifts,” one of the wardens told Express. “We have a watchman also, but he has been on leave for over a week. The five women took advantage of this to escape,” she added.
They were among the nine women caught in various prostitution cases and lodged in the home on Kannusamy Kavundar Street near Ganapathy. One of them had been there from January, three arrived in February and one on March 23.
Police are on the lookout for the women. The City Control Room alerted all railway stations and bus stands in the city on Saturday night itself about them.
According to police, around 8.30 pm on Saturday, the five assaulted warden Deepa and cook Nagavalli. Later, they threw chilli powder and tied their hands and mouths with sarees. The five women then changed their dresses, broke open the main gate and escaped from the place.
Later, after loosening the knots, the warden and cook shouted for help. Hearing their cries, workers at nearby small industrial unit informed the City Police Control Room of the matter.
The Saravanampatty police immediately arrived at the spot and made preliminary inquiries, but then said the home’s location was not under their jurisdiction. They alerted the Thudiyalur Police, who also said the place was out of their jurisdiction. The Rathinapuri Police were then asked to register the case by a top City police officer. However, they too found it out of their jurisdiction. This passing of the buck continued till 10 am. Finally, the Coimbatore Rural Thudiyalur Police agreed to register the case.
The uncertainty over jurisdiction delayed the investigation for over 12 hours.
“We are still not sure whether the locality comes under our jurisdiction. As of now, we have registered a case and launched a formal inquiry. If it is found to be under the Saravanampatty Police Station limits, the case will be transferred to them,” said Thudiyalur Inspector S Vetrivendhan.
As the home is completely under CCTV surveillance, the Thudiyalur police recovered the footage and are investigating the matter.