Ilze and Ashwathy conducted a joint press conference in Thiruvananthapuram in which they rubbished the allegations.

Aswathy didnt cheat me Sister of Latvian woman found dead in Kerala defends NGO
news News Saturday, April 28, 2018 - 17:02

The death of Liga Skromane, the Latvian woman who went missing on March 14 in Kerala, remains embroiled in controversy. 

Ilze, Liga's sister, has denied the allegation that Aswathy of Jwala Foundation, an NGO, had taken money from her to assist the family with the search. 

Aswathy and Ilze conducted a joint press conference in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday afternoon to refute the allegations. 

Aswathy said that she would face any kind of inquiry on the subject but asserted that she would stand with Ilze’s family till the end, offering her wholehearted support. 

Ilze said that the person who had given the complaint should have approached her first. 

The complaint alleges that Aswathy had cheated Ilze and Liga's husband Andrew by taking money from them in order to search for Liga. According to reports, DGP Loknath Behera has handed over the complaint to Thiruvananthapuram Range IG Manoj Abraham.

However, Aswathy said that she hasn’t been handed over any notice from the police as yet, but that she received a direction from the city police commissioner's officer to appear at the Special Branch for an interrogation.

Jwala Foundation is an NGO which rehabilitates those who live on the streets. Aswathy, along with others from Jwala, had assisted Ilze and Andrew in their search for Liga.

 “They came to know about Jwala and approached me, asking if had happened to see Liga. From then on, we carried out the search together. I didn’t even taken money for petrol. On several days, I came home atmidnight after the search. Andrew was so panicked that he didn’t have the patience to even have food during the search. We skipped food and even water,” she said. 

Such allegations, Aswathy added, would make people step back from helping others who come with similar needs in the future. She also said that she doesn’t know who the complainant is.

Ilze came to know about the complaint in the morning through mediapersons.

“I have become aware of the allegations raised against Aswathy this morning, that she has taken money from me. This is completely false and incorrect information. I ask the person who has filed (the complaint) to step forward and appear before the media. If they are that brave to go directly to the DGP, they should have come to me and checked this information. Aswathy has been helping us from the beginning. Instead of appreciating her work, she has been attacked by the media for things that she hasn’t done,” Ilze said.

A row erupted after it was reported that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had refused to meet Ilze and Andrew when they tried to meet him at his office. 

 “At the press meet, after the remains of my sister were found, Aswathy translated my words in Malayalam. At that time, she said that we tried to meet the CM and that we ended up not meeting him. We apologise for the misunderstanding it caused.  But it’s very human (to make such a mistake). Stop making a controversy, help her instead of harassing her. I want to clear this matter once and for all,” Ilze said.

Meanwhile, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala in a statement, said that the investigation against Aswathy is an act of retaliation.

 “Aswathy had spoken to the world about the bad experience they had to face while trying to meet the CM and the DGP. The allegations have been raised after that,” he said.

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