The arrested were identified as Sugumar (50) of Perambur, Justus Abraham (38) of West K K Nagar, pimp Periasamy and lodge manager Santhoshkumar (45). Police recovered two mobile phones and Rs 5,000 in cash from the last who were from Perambalur district. According to the police, Sugumar was an office assistant in the office of the Inspector of Matriculation Schools, Justus an assistant with the Directorate of School Education on College Road and Periasamy an attender in another lodge in the same area.
"We were tipped off that two minor girls, who had been forced into prostitution, were put up at a particular lodge. Even the room number was mentioned. Special teams were formed and they stormed the lodge that is close to a theatre in Egmore. In two rooms, we found Sugumar and Justus with the two girls in compromising positions," an ATS officer said. Although the law allows the police to book the customers in such cases, in practice this is not done.
"We booked the customers as the law clearly says that sex with girls under the age 16, with or without consent, is rape. Punishment shall not be less than seven years but may extend to life imprisonment," the officer added. Police booked Sugumar under Section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code and Justus and the two others under the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act, 1956. The police said that one of the girls, a 15-year-old who was working in a CD shop in Coimbatore, had been called to the city by the other girl, a 19-year-old, and introduced to Periasamy. "The girls were produced before a magistrate's court in Egmore on Sunday. We will take them for medical examination after getting the court's permission," an investigating officer said.