CPM extends support to survivor, but doubts vested interest behind plea

Kodiyeri Balakrishnan | Photo: Mathrubhumi/Latheesh Poovathur

Kochi: A day after the survivor in the sexual assault case, involving actor Dileep, approached the Kerala High Court alleging that there was a move to derail the probe, the ruling CPM on Tuesday openly declared the support of the party and the government to the survivor.

CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who met the media here, reiterated that the Left government always extended its support to the survivor but said there was mystery behind how such a matter came up before the Thrikkakara by-election.

Earlier in the day, LDF convenor E P Jayarajan had categorically rejected her allegations against the Left government and said it should be examined whether there was any vested interest behind her plea.

Balakrishnan said it was the Kerala government which invited the survivor to the International Film Festival of Kerala as a chief guest and honoured her. He said it was a gesture showing that the government was with the survivor.

"We would like to openly declare that the government and the party stand with the survivor. The government and the party will provide her all support and security. The Left government always stood with her," he said.

Alleging political interference in the sexual assault case of 2017, the survivor had on Monday approached the High Court seeking its intervention in the matter.

Balakrishnan also attacked the Congress party in the matter and alleged it was the United Democratic Front which always protects such accused persons.

"Everyone knows with whom the accused is close with. Whom did they (Congress) invite for a recent celebrations at Aluva municipality? We all know that one of the main officials of that event is now a Rajya Sabha MP. Their allegations that we are with the accused is going to backfire," Balakrishnan said in an apparent reference to an event in which Aluva Municipality, then ruled by Congress, invited actor Dileep to participate.

Congress Rajya Sabha member from Kerala, Jebi Mather, was the deputy chairperson of the Municipality then.

The survivor, in her plea, had also raised serious allegations against the trial court saying the presiding officer has some "vested interest to save the culprits".

The plea came a day after media reports that the Crime Branch had decided to wind up the investigation into a related case of an alleged tampering of digital evidence.

Balakrishnan said the government appointed the prosecutor suggested by the survivor in order to safeguard her interest.

When asked about a political interference mentioned in her plea, Balakrishnan said if the survivor has any doubts, she can always can always submit such matters before the high court.

Though the survivor had harshly criticised the Left government and raised serious allegations against the trial court in her plea, Jayarajan said anyone can approach the court with such a petition but it would not impact the prospects of the ruling front in upcoming Thrikkakara by-poll anyway.

"People of the state were clearly aware about the policies of the state government and its stand and approaches in various issues," he claimed.

Coming down heavily on the Congress-led UDF, he said the opposition was looking for ways to divert the attention against the LDF government as they have no fault to pinpoint.

"Anyone can file a plea in the court. But, It should be examined whether there is any vested interest behind the present petition. I am not the person to say anything about the merit of a case pending before the court. Let the court examine it...Everything will be clear then," the leader told reporters here.

However, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, V D Satheesan slammed Jayarajan over his statement saying that associating the survivor approaching the court with the UDF amounted to insulting her again.

It was not appropriate for the CPM leaders, who should have supported the survivor's struggle along with the people of the country, to humiliate her, he said alleging that the pseudo face of the Left party who claimed to be with the victim was exposed through his latest statement.

UDF's Thrikkakara candidate Uma Thomas and widow of former legislator PT Thomas also extended support to the survivor and said many of the concerns the actress had expressed in her high court petition were raised by her late husband much earlier.

"It is painfully submitted that the Government of Kerala which gave support to the cause of the petitioner/ victim at the initial stage and allowed a fair investigation in the case by police officers of high integrity and took credit of the investigation politically has backtracked from its constitutional legal commitment of conducting a free, fair and complete investigation in the case," she said.

The petition also alleges that Dileep has unlawfully influenced some of the politicians of the ruling front in the state and attempted to interfere with the further investigation in the case and prematurely close the same.

The petition said even though the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) authorities had submitted a report to the court, the judge kept the same without making any entries in the court records.

The survivor also alleged that Dileep, a film star and a multimillionaire, was capable of "playing any heinous tricks to influence anybody" and do "any blackmailing techniques to keep others under his captivity."

The actress-victim who has worked in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films was abducted and allegedly molested in her car for two hours by some of the accused, who had forced their way into the vehicle on the night of February 17, 2017 and later escaped in a busy area. The entire act was filmed by some of the accused to blackmail the actress.

There are 10 accused in the case and police arrested seven persons. Dileep was arrested subsequently and released on bail.


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