It's been a few days since Anupama, whose child was illegally taken away from her in Kerala, and her partner Ajith began an indefinite protest in Thiruvananthapuram calling for the removal of Child Welfare Committee (CWC) Chairperson N Sunanda and General Secretary of the Child Welfare Council Shiju Khan JS from their positions till the investigation into their baby's adoption procedure is completed. However, leaked phone conversations between Anupama and senior CPI(M) leader PK Sreemathi, have once again exposed how the CPI(M) refused to help the young mother in the initial stages, and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's name, too, has been drawn into the mix.
The audio clips of conversations accessed by TNM reportedly took place in September 2021. This was five months after Anupama and Ajith first approached child welfare authorities in Kerala in April 2021, alleging that Anupama's father, a CPI(M) leader called Jayachandran had given the baby up for adoption illegally. After approaching the CWC, the couple had reached out to many CPI(M) leaders including Brinda Karat, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, A Vijayaraghavan and former minister Sreemathi teacher.
In one of the clips, the former MP and Health Minister, Sreemathi, can be heard telling Anupama that though she tried to discuss the issue with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at the party level, the CM had allegedly said that the matter should be handled within the family.
Anupama, who gave birth to a child in October last year, was separated from the newborn after three days. She has said that her father, Jayachandran, a local committee member of the Peroorkada CPI(M) and General Secretary of Thiruvananthapuram Centre of India Trade Unions (CITU) forcibly took the baby away and gave him up for adoption. Though Jayachandran has admitted to giving the child up for adoption, he claimed that Anupama consented. However, both she and Ajith have said that they had no knowledge of the adoption and had not agreed to it.
Anupama and Ajith had also earlier said that the ruling party in Kerala is protecting her father.
Anupama had called Sreemathi several times seeking help from the CPI(M) and asking them to take action against her parents (as they are members of the CPI(M) party).
In one of the audio clips, Sreemathi can be heard saying that the matter is not being taken up for discussion by the party. She further says that she has tried to discuss it with party members including the Chief Minister. "He (CM) said let them (the family) handle it themselves and that we (the party) don't have any role in it. There is no one left to discuss it with now,” she adds. Anupama can be heard asking aren’t her parents part of the party. To this Sreemathi replies that action would have been taken if it was anyone else, but these are her family issues.
Anupama goes on to say that she is the one who made the complaint against her own parents and further alleges that her parents have been using the party name to ensure the police take no action on her complaint. Though Anupama had approached the police in April 2021, an FIR was registered only months later in October 2021 following relentless media attention on the case.
Sreemathi can also be heard suggesting that Anupama meet Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, a senior leader and former state Secretary of the CPI(M) and Anavoor Nagappan, the Thiruvananthapuram district secretary of the CPI(M). Sreemathi can be heard shifting the responsibility from one leader to the other.
Anupama responds that she wasn’t able to meet them both, to which Sreemathi says that she is helpless but had given a letter on this matter to be considered by the party.
In yet another clip, Anupama can be heard pleading for Sreemathi's help in getting an appointment with the CM and Kerala Police Chief. During the phone call, Anupama can be heard saying that she has been trying in vain to meet with them. "But wait till 17 (October 17)," Sreemathi can be heard replying.
The conversation ends with Anupama saying that she would wait till October 17 and would then go to the media if there was no response from the party.
When TNM contacted Ajith he said that even after all the conversations that have taken place no proper action has been taken. "We met the Health Minister (Veena George) last week, and she too promised help. But no action has been taken so far," he said.
Anupama and Ajith have been protesting in front of the Kerala Child Welfare Council located at Thycaud in Thiruvananthapuram city since November 9. They have been demanding action against the Child Welfare Committee Chairperson N Sunanda and General Secretary of the Child Welfare Council Shiju Khan JS. "The latest protest is against the CWC officials not being removed,” Anupama told TNM. "They should be kept away till the investigation is done. We had told the minister these people can influence any probe if it happens while they continue in their positions," Ajith added.