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Sunday, September 20, 2020

Kerala: Oppn leader Chennithala tenders apology over insensitive remark in rape case

In a Facebook post, Ramesh Chennithala said "even though my words were misinterpreted out of context, I would like to make sure that it should not cause even the slightest difficulty in the minds of women."

By: PTI | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: September 9, 2020 5:52:06 pm
Ramesh Chennithala, Ramesh Chennithala rape remarkCongress MLA Ramesh Chennithala on Tuesday found himself at the centre of a row after he allegedly made a disparaging remark in connection with a rape case in the state.

After his remark in a rape case in the State kicked up a row, Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Asssembly Ramesh Chennithala on Wednesday tendered an apology and retracted the statement.

In a Facebook post, Chennithala said “even though my words were misinterpreted out of context, I would like to make sure that it should not cause even the slightest difficulty in the minds of women.”

“After listening again to my answer to the question posed in yesterday’s press conference, it has occurred to me that I uttered a statement without the slightest intention to do so.

I have worked all these years with the political conviction that such a statement should not come from me.

Nevertheless, I withdraw my words and express my sincerest apology,” Chennithala said.

Chennithala on Tuesday found himself at the centre of a row after he allegedly made a disparaging remark in connection with a rape case in the state.

Chennithala’s statement came during a press conference after the Congress-led UDF meeting when a scribe asked him about a junior health inspector who was arrested yesterday on charges of raping a woman who sought a COVID-19 certificate and if he was affiliated to the Congress party.

“Is it written somewhere that only DYFI (CPI-M youth wing) workers can sexually abuse women? It’s all lies that the accused belongs to the Congress party or anything,” Chennithala had said denying that he belongs to any service organisation affiliated to the Congress.

The statement drew a flurry of criticism with state Health Minister K K Shailaja and the state women’s commission asking Chennithala to withdraw his remarks and demanding an apology from him.

However, Chennithala, later issued a clarification, saying his words were cherry-picked and used against him.

“What I said was that it is not just DYFI workers, but workers from the Left-affiliated service organisation NGO Union too are involved in sexual abuse.

The health inspector was arrested following a complaint from a woman who said he had invited her home to give her a COVID-19 certificate and raped her, police said.

The woman in her complaint stated that she went to his house on September 3 and was sexually attacked after beingtied up and was allowed to leave only the next day.

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