Advocate Sangeetha Lakshmana however expressed skepticism over the ‘gang-rape’ story, and asked for a detailed probe to uncover the truth.

Cops demean gangrape survivor let there be a fair trial says Parvathi
news Sexual Assault Friday, November 04, 2016 - 18:57

“We have the law in place to ensure a fair trial for all, irrespective of their place in society. A woman goes to the police with a rape complaint, and she ends up being verbally raped by them. That is what appalls me the most in this case,” shudders activist Parvathi, while speaking to The News Minute.

Parvathi was referring to the alleged appalling behaviour of law-enforcement officers at the Peramangalam police station in Thrissur when a woman lodged a complaint of gang-rape.

The woman had filed her complaint on 16 August 2016 alleging that she was gang-raped by four persons including Vadakkanchery Municipal councilor PN Jayanthan of the CPI(M) in April 2014. 

She was however forced to withdraw it, following the utterly demeaning manner of interrogation she was subject to over a period of four days, avers Parvathi.

It was reportedly after watching dubbing artiste Bhagya Lakshmi refer to silent victims of rape on a television show that she approached the latter for help. Bhagya Lakshmi then went on to post the same on her Facebook.

Responding to counter-allegations that it is a trumped-up case by the complainant, Parvathi counters: “Let us assume that the accused is being framed….for whatever reason. But the law says that rape cases need to be handled by an officer of no less a rank than that of the DySP. In this case, a circle inspector chose to handle the same, only to traumatize her even further.”

Going on to elaborate, she says: “What makes it worse is that she was forced to retract her complaint in front of a Magistrate, based on a written statement signed by her, but which was in fact prepared by the circle inspector, invoking section 164 of the Indian Penal Code. The woman has not the slightest inkling as to what this particular section of the law entails.”

Parvathi also spoke about criticism directed against both Bhagya Lakshmi and her for approaching the media, rather than the court for justice.

“We were actually left with no choice but to approach the media. The very same day that she filed her complaint at the police station, she had also sent copies to the state Chief Minister, the DySP, the Vanitha (Women) cell and the Vadakanchery MLA Anil Anakkara through registered post. What else were we supposed to do?” she asks.

Meanwhile prominent lawyer Sangeetha Lakshmana expressed her skepticism over the ‘gang-rape’ story in a post on Facebook on Friday: 

“….I will not believe this story, only because it is a group of women who are saying so. In rape cases, a magistrate records the victim’s statement only when convinced that the statement is voluntarily given. At a time when the victim herself admits to have said so, there is absolutely no reason to doubt it. 

Jayanthan claimed that there was some financial dealings between him and the victim’s husband and that the latter threatened Jayanthan two months ago demanding Rs 15 lakhs. Let that be probed.

In case the victim’s husband has a financial obligation towards Jayanthan, Parvathi and Bhagya Lakshmi should first convince him to pay it back. 

….Her husband was with her when she went to the….social activist who later called a press meet. How then is the victim a helpless woman? I don’t understand. 

….Their heads (that of Bhagya Lakshmi and Parvathi) are filled with distorted ideas of feminism. That’s the problem here, nothing else. That is why they are finding fault with the Magistrate who recorded the victim’s statement, the police officer who investigated the case…and why they feel that only the victim’s version is true. 

PS: I am a dedicated Congress supporter. Despite that, I believe that there is an ounce of truth in what Jayanthan is saying. Moreover, I am partial towards men in general, and I believe that what the victim is saying is not entirely true.” 

Jayanthan too has penned an 'open letter' on Facebook addressed to Bhagya Lakshmi and Parvathi asking them to visit Vadakkanchery to know the truth.

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