A CPI(M) local committee member turned from villain to the humane face of flood relief operations in Kerala overnight after he got a clean chit in a case of allegedly collecting money from inmates of a camp in Alappuzha.
Besides the clean chit, a senior IAS officer also apologised to him. A video circulated on Friday purportedly showed S Omanakuttan collecting money from inmates of a camp at Cherthala. Acting on a complaint, police then booked Omanakuttan, who was also an inmate. He was also suspended by the CPI(M).
However, Omanakuttan’s interest towards relief efforts was revealed when Principal Secretary (Revenue) Dr V Venu looked into the matter.
When the stock of rice ran out at his camp, Omanakuttan voluntarily went to the government godown and brought the supply to his camp on an autorickshaw, but he did not have enough money to pay the driver. Hence, he went for a collection round.
Venu said the Revenue Department would withdraw the complaint. “As the head of the disaster management authority, I tender apology to Omanakuttan. Me, my department and all those who are affected by the flood, share among us the pain Omanakuttan had faced,” Venu wrote on Facebook. The CPI(M) also revoked Omanakuttan’s suspension.
“I am happy that the government has realised my honesty. When I faced an allegation, my party initiated disciplinary action. Vested groups hurled charges against me only because I am a CPI(M) worker,” Omanakuttan said.