According to the police, the five were among nine women lodged at the Government Protective Home at Kannusamy Gounder Street in Rathinapuri in the city. The home, run by the social welfare department, houses rescued women under distress and those rescued from flesh trade. Inquiry revealed that all the five women who fled on Saturday night were from North India.
One of them was lodged there in January this year, three of them in February and one more on March 23.
On Saturday night, the five women attacked the warden Deepa and cook Nagavalli, threw chilli powder on them and tied them up with a saree and gagged their mouth using a piece of cloth. The women then changed their dresses and walked out of the home. Later, employees working in the nearby industrial unit heard the moaning of the warden and cook and freed them.
They immediately alerted the Coimbatore City Police control room and who in turn alerted the Saravanampatti police. Due to confusion on the jurisdiction of the place of the home, Rathinapuri and Thudiyalur police stations were also brought into the picture. Close to Sunday afternoon, Thudiyalur police agreed to register a case.
The confusion led to delay in police action against the women. The police then retrieved the CCTV footage from the home and informed the personnel at the railway stations and bus stands to secure the five women.
Earlier, the five women were treated as victims of flesh trade, but now after the assault on the government servants to escape from the home, they will be treated as accused in the case, said a police officer.