A most horrific story of sexual violence has come out from Kerala’s Thrissur district after a woman, accompanied by her husband, recounted how she was gangraped by four men and later subjected to acute mental harassment by the police authorities.
The incident came to light after popular Malayalam dubbing artist Bhagya Lakshmi narrated the woman’s ordeal in a Facebook post. The survivor, in her 30s, named her rapists at a press conference and said one of the men was CPM municipal councillor Jayanthan. The accused, who were friends of the woman’s husband, lied to her saying her husband was hospitalised following an accident. They took her to a secluded spot and took turns raping her. But the grief did not end there. The woman said the police officers harassed her by asking uncomfortable and scrutinising questions, even to the point of asking her ‘which of the rapists gave her the most pleasure.’
Amid sobs, the woman, who covered her face, said the police called her repeatedly to the police station every day parading her in front of everyone. Days after filing a police complaint, the woman alleged she was forced to withdraw it under pressure from the accused and the police.
“They threatened to kill my children if I spoke out the truth. When the magistrate asked me if there was any pressure on me, I cried,” the woman said at the press meet. She said the then investigating officer pressured her to go for a compromise with the accused. “I was taught the forged version of statement at the police station,” she said.
According to reports, Jayanthan called the allegations ‘fabricated’ and full of lies. He said there were pending disputes with the woman’s husband over a financial deal. The ruling CPM, on its part, has promised to look into the matter and take necessary action.