Gang-rape allegations of a Thrissur-based woman against four men including a local CPI (M) leader has sparked widespread outrage in Kerala.
In a press meet held in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday, the woman alleged that the police officials harassed her to such an extent that she had no option but to withdraw her complaint.
She said that she was gang-raped by CPI (M) Vadakkanchery Municipal Councillor Jayanthan, his brother and two others in 2014.
A meeting convened by Thrissur Range IG MR Ajith Kumar ascertained that there had been grave lapses on the part of the police team that handled the case, when the rape survivor had registered her complaint at the Peramangalam police station in August this year, almost two years after the reported rape.
A new investigation team has been constituted with Guruvayoor ACP Sivadasan now looking into the case. Women police officials will also be made part of the investigation team, say news reports.
Observing that the Peramangalam circle inspector was at fault, state DGP Loknath Behera ordered a detailed probe into the incident following which, action will be taken against the officer for laxity in probe.
Meanwhile, in the state Legislative Assembly, the Opposition lashed out at the government on Friday for its failure to ensure law and order.
â€śProper investigation into the case was not carried out because a CPI(M) leader happened to be the accused. The case should hence be investigated by a woman ADGP,â€ť said Ramesh Chennithala -Leader of the Opposition.
Responding to an adjournment motion by the Opposition, Minister for Welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes AK Balan assured that action will indeed be taken to bring the culprits to book.
A meeting of Vadakkanchery CPI(M) Committee is underway to consider taking suitable action against Jayanthan.
Replying to The News Minute query on the same, Jayanthan said that he would stand by whatever decision the party took in this regard.
â€śIt is up to the party to take a decision. I strongly maintain my stance that such an incident never occurred, and that the case is a fabricated one. Once the meeting is over, I will request the party to file a defamation case against the woman and her family,â€ť Jayanthan asserted.
He said that since this is the first time the matter was discussed in the Assembly, the ministers on behalf of the government, were obliged to respond to the same.
The Speakerâ€™s rejection of the adjournment motion triggered an Opposition walk-out.