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IUML draws flak over move to freeze women students’ wing

On August 13, two Haritha leaders filed a sexual harassment complaint with the state women's commission against MSF state president P K Navas, Malappuram district president M Kabeer and district general secretary V A Wahab

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram |
Updated: August 19, 2021 11:27:43 am
Terming their action as “indiscipline”, the IUML on Tuesday suspended the state committee of Haritha, after the women leaders refused to withdraw their complaint. (Source: IUML/Facebook)

THE INDIAN Union Muslim League (IUML) is facing criticism over its decision to “freeze” the state committee of Haritha — the women’s wing of the Muslim Students Federation (MSF), the party’s student organisation – days after Haritha leaders complained to the state women’s commission against some MSF leaders.

On August 13, two Haritha leaders filed a sexual harassment complaint with the state women’s commission against MSF state president P K Navas, Malappuram district president M Kabeer and district general secretary V A Wahab. The MSF leaders are alleged to have made lewd remarks against the women at the state committee meeting in June this year.

The women first complained to the IUML leadership. With no action taken, they then approached the commission.

Terming their action as “indiscipline”, the IUML on Tuesday suspended the state committee of Haritha, after the women leaders refused to withdraw their complaint.

Taking on the IUML leadership on Wednesday, MSF national vice-president Fathima Thahiliya said Haritha leaders were facing personal attacks and insults on social media.

“We are being hunted on social media. It is really sad that the IUML has decided to freeze the Haritha state committee. We hope the party will take an apt decision after hearing the MSF leaders facing sexual harassment charge. Don’t think that we are alone. Why did they freeze the Haritha committee alone? What about the MSF, which is facing the allegation,’’ she said.

Thahiliya said her “role model is not E M S Namboodiripad, but K R Gouri, who fought against male dominance (in the CPM)”.

Coming out in support of the women, 11 district committees of the MSF have written to the IUML leadership, urging them to lift the “freeze” on the state committee of the Haritha and to take action against the MSF leaders facing the allegation. The MSF unit in the University of Calicut resigned en masse in protest against the party’s action.

Defending the party’s decision, IUML state general secretary P M A Salam said: “They (Haritha) took the issue to the public when the party was trying to find a solution… The dispute between Haritha and MSF was before the IUML The women leaders should have waited for our decision. We have asked the MSF leaders to explain and a decision was proposed within two weeks”.

“The party is adept at handling the issue. The Haritha leaders should not have resorted to a stand that has given opponents a stick to beat the IUML with,’’ said senior party leader and legislator M K Munner.

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