One of arrested Dalit sisters attempts suicide in Kerala

Sunday, Jun 19, 2016,13:55 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Thalassery (Kerala) | In a shocking turn of events relating to the controversial arrest and subsequent bail of two Dalit sisters for allegedly attacking a CPI(M) activist here, one of them allegedly attempted suicide at her home.

The condition of 25-year-old Anjana, now in the intensive care unit of Indira Gandhi Cooperative hospital, is stable and she has been kept under observation, hospital sources said. She was brought to the hospital here at around 1230 hrs last night after she consumed some tablets.

Akhila (30) and Anjana (25), daughters of Indian National Trade Union Congress leader N Rajan, were arrested on a complaint by CPI(M) that they had barged into their party office here and attacked one of their activists. The sister duo were released on bail yesterday.  Asked by reporters in Delhi about the incident, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Ask police. I am not saying anything now.

Anjana, who had yesterday participated in a television debate, come home and allegedly consumed some tablets. As she showed signs of restlessness, she was immediately rushed to the hospital. Her family said that during the TV debate, a woman CPI(M) leader had remarked that the two sisters were part of a criminal goonda gang.

Akila told reporters, We are being portrayed as members of a criminal gang which trespassed into the Marxist party’s office with dangerous weapons. For the past many years, we were being traumatised and insulted by CPI(M) workers. We had not gone there to attack anyone, only to question them for calling us by our caste and mocking at us. Just because we belong to this caste, does it mean we do not have a right to live? Akila asked.

She said her sister was under a lot of mental strain, but the family did not suspect she would take any extreme step. She said the family wants to live peacefully. We kept quiet all these years because we are girls.

A policeman behaved as if we are criminals, she said. Kannur district Police Chief Sanjay Kumar Gurudin, who visited the woman in the hospital,said: We are keeping a check on her health condition. The reason why she took the extreme step is not known.

The two sisters were summoned to the police station on Friday and a case under non-bailable offence registered against them for trespassing into CPI(M)’s office and attacking M Shijin, a party activist, some days ago. They were then sent to the prison.

Akila’s 18-month-old daughter was also with her at the police station. The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has taken note of the developments and the state SC/ST Commission has registered a case in this regard.

Meanwhile, Congress leaders, including former Union minister Mullappally Ramachandran, K Sudhakaran and Mahila Congress President Bindu Krishna visited the woman at the hospital.

Bindu Krishna alleged that CPI(M) was harassing the family for the last 15 years and the situation had worsened after the local body polls that their father contested and after LDF came to power.

KPCC President V M Sudheeran told reporters in Thiruvananthapuramthat Kannur was once again turning into a conflict land. He said a bomb was hurled at a reading room in Kannur recently and Congress and UDF workers were attacked, but the CM’s reaction was that he was unaware of the incident.

We cannot accept this, Sudheeran said. He also picked holes in CPI(M)’s charge that the family of the two women had not moved for bail. He pointed out that the bail application was moved before Kannur magistrate court on Friday itself as the Thalassery court magistrate was on leave. But they were not granted bail.

Unfortunately, the two women along with the child were forced to spend a day in prison for a false case lodged against them, he said. Sudheeran said  all legal aid would be provided to the two and justice provided to them. The Congress leader alleged that there was a mismatch between the proclamations and actions of the LDF government.