Opposition Congress-led UDF along with the lone BJP MLA on Tuesday staged a walkout in the Kerala Assembly protesting denial of permission for a debate on arrest of two Dalit sisters, daughters of a Congress leader in Kannur district, for allegedly attacking a CPI(M) activist.
Replying to the notice for adjournment motion moved by K C Joseph (Congress) and M K Muneer (IUML), Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the issue was “not so serious to stop the proceedings and discuss it.”
A case has been registered, investigation was on and the first accused had been arrested, he said.
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Police had registered a case against the women Akhila and Anjana, daughters of N Rajan, leader of INTUC, on a complaint filed by Shijil, a party functionary on June 11.
The women were not prepared to take bail following which a court had remanded them. The next day they were released and one of the sisters allegedly consumed an overdose of tablets, Vijayan said.
During their arrest, police had followed all procedures. Allegations were also made against the magistrate when they were remanded, the Chief Minister said.
Following Vijayan’s reply, Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan denied permission to discuss the issue.
Former minister and Irrikur MLA, Joseph said after the CPI(M)-led LDF government came to power, it had promised that equal justice would be meted to all. “But that was not so. This should be viewed seriously”, he said, adding, “false cases were being foisted on those who opposed LDF”, he said.
Attacking the Chief Minister, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala said the issue was being dealt in a very “casual manner” by the Chief Minister.
“He is speaking like a former party Secretary, not as a Chief Minister”, he said.
The two women were called to the police station and arrested without following the Supreme Court guidelines.
Describing the incident as a “disaster and pathetic”, IUML leader P K Kunhalikutty said the approach of the police towards the two women was “wrong.”
Kerala Congress (M) Supremo K M Mani also criticised the government for the action against the women.
BJP’s lone member and former Union minister O Rajagopal also walked out of the House after stating that the incident had caused “apprehensions”.
In Kannur, such incidents in ‘party gramams’ (party villages) have been going on for years. This should be stopped. The Chief Minister’s response was not satisfactory, Rajagopalan said.
The arrest of the Dalit sisters had kicked up a row as one of the women had gone to jail with her 18-month-old daughter.
The National commission for Schedule castes had also intervened in the matter.