On Tuesday, a group of DYFI members marched in the Parassinikadavu area of Kannur district demanding that the police immediately arrest those involved in the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl at a lodge in the area. But things took an absurd turn when the media figured out that a local DYFI leader, who had marched for justice was in fact arrested later in the same case.
The march was conducted by the DYFI - the youth wing of the CPI(M) - supporters at Parassinikkadavu on December 4, before any arrests were made in the case. Sporting a red jersey and beard, Nikhil Mohanan (Nikhil Thaliyil), secretary of a DYFI unit from Thaliyil in Kannur was seen marching with the small crowd in a report published by Asianet.
However on Thursday, the Kannur police made four more arrests in the case, which included Nikhil. “The protest march was held two days ago when the news just broke and no arrests were made. Nikhil was arrested on Thursday after the police found his involvement in the gang-rape case,” a local media source from Kannur told TNM.
On November 19, a 16-year-old who had befriended a man on Facebook was taken to a lodge in Parassinikadavu and gang-raped. The men and his friends who had recorded the act later showed the video to her brother, and tried to extort money. The incident came to light after a case was registered by the Taliparamba station, on the basis of a complaint filed by the suvivor's brother and mother. This subsequently sparked much outrage.
The survivor was befriended on Facebook by a man named Mridul - one of the main accused in the case - who created a fake ID under the name ‘Anjana’ to speak with the girl. He later convinced the girl to meet him at a lodge in Parassinikkadavu, where the incident took place.
Following the police probe, it was later found that the girl’s father, too, had sexually abused her for a period of two years prior to this.
Speaking to TNM, DYFI district secretary in Kannur, Sanoj VK said, “Nikhil used to be a unit secretary; but not anymore. We had some issues with him, including his drinking problem. Due to this, he wasn’t given any important positions in the party. He usually participates in such protests and other events. Regarding the protest march held on Wednesday, I am not sure if he has participated in it but media reports have said so. However, the march did happen near his area.”
16 cases in 5 stations
Sixteen cases have been registered and 12 accused have been arrested so far by the Kannur police. On Friday, the police arrested the DYFI leader Nikhil Mohanan and three others hailing from Matool.
Sandeep, Shamsuddin, Shabbir, Ayub and Pavithran, the receptionist of the lodge where the gang rape took place, Achit Valsaraj, Nikhil Thaliyil and Mridul M are some of the accused who were arrested on Thursday.
Police have registered cases in Valapattanam, Taliparamba, Pazhayangadi, Edakkad and Kudiyanmala so far.