She said that the autorickshaw was a new one, given to her by the District Collector

Autodriver Chitralekhas auto damaged allegedly by CPIM workers
news Friday, March 04, 2016 - 19:14

The autorikshaw of driver Chitralekha, a Dalit, was damaged allegedly by a local CPI (M) worker on Friday morning

Chithralekha (39) told The News Minute that she saw CPI (M) worker Abhilash damaging her autorikshaw but he ran away by the time she came of the house in Payyannur.

She has, for a long time, been resisting attempts made by Left party cadre to dissuade her from plying her vehicle in an autorikshaw-stand affiliated to the CITU, which is a trade union affiliated with the CPI(M). these attempts include assaualts, property damage and casteist slurs, she has alleged.

“I heard some noise, and when I looked through the window I saw Abhilash and two others. When they saw me they ran away,” she alleged.

She said that the autorickshaw was a new one, given to her by the District Collector. “Its seat and cover are completely torn and will cost around Rs 20,000 to repair,” she said.

In January she had staged a day-night dharna in front of the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram for about 20 days seeking justice.

She felt forced to do this because for 11 years, ever since she began to drive an autorickshaw for a living, she has been facing threats and casteist and gendered insults. She belongs to the Pulaya caste, whose members were historically almost slaves of feudal landlords and bound to do their bidding.

After staging protests in front of the Kannur collectorate and the state secretariat many times in the last few years, the government helped her relocate to a different place due to frequent attacks. On Friday she was visiting her house in Payyannur to collect documents for one of the several cases in court, which had been filed during these years due to the harassment.

Also Read : Dalit woman auto driver continues fight against the Kerala left's goondagiri

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