Though the sisters were let out on bail, Anjana tried to commit suicide in the night.

Lefts attack on Kerala Dalit leader his daughters CPIM cannot speak for Dalits
news Sunday, June 19, 2016 - 11:21

The arrest of two Dalit sisters, 30 year old Akhila and 25 year old Anjana, for allegedly attacking a CPI(M) party worker at the local party office in Kuttymaakkoolil in Thalaserry has spiralled into a huge political controversy. 

The two sisters barged into the CPI(M) local party office to question the continued harassment and physical assault on their father using their caste name. Akhila and Anjana are the daughters of N Rajan, a Dalit leader and block secretary of the Congress in Payyanur. 

Though the sisters were let out on bail on Saturday evening following a huge furore, Anjana tried to commit suicide in the night.

The treatment meted out to the two sisters, especially the fact that Akhila had her one-and-a-half-year-old baby with her when she was remanded to custody has triggered political protests all over the state.

The two sisters barged into the CPI(M) local party office to question the continued harassment and physical assault on their father using their caste name. 

Akhila and her father N Rajan told The News Minute that Anjana’s suicide attempt was due to trauma caused by a malicious message that was doing the rounds. The message was based on accusations hurled at them by DYFI leader PP Divya on a news debate show.

“Since childhood, we have been witnesses to the attacks by CPI (M) on our father. He had left the party to join the Congress. The verbal assaults on us have been going on for years, they would even damage our property,” Akhila said.

N Rajan

Rajan belongs to the Pulayar community, which is categorized as Scheduled Castes and was once considered untouchable in Kerala. 

“On June 11, we sisters were buying stuff from a shop, CPI (M) party office is situated just above the shop. Few party workers started abusing us and called us Pulayars. This has happened many times before, agitated we went up to protest,” Akhila said.

What followed was a confrontation between the sisters and party workers. According to Akhila, party workers started attacking them with chairs. Meanwhile, party workers filed a case against the sisters alleging that they attacked the men with weapons. Ironically, the weapon mentioned in the complaint is a piece of wood that the sisters allegedly took from the CPI (M) office itself.

“We didn’t carry any weapons. They attacked us. There are injury marks on both of us,” Akhila said.

Payyanur and Kannur have a history of political violence and the Left has been notorious in targeting people who leave the party.  

Akhila described the political intimidation that the family has been allegedly facing over the years.

“They have physically attacked my father many times. During elections, party cadres would bring big vehicles in front of our house, and as the road was narrow, they would break our walls. My sister was vocal with her objections. What was sad was that many of those who belittled us and were also present at the party office on the day of the incident were our classmates,” she added.

N Rajan said he had left the CPI (M) in the 1980s though his father was a staunch communist and had been targeted since then. “My daughters came back that day and told me about the incident. Getting abused due to our caste was nothing new to me. But how could they attack women?,” he told The News Minute.

“What right does CPI (M) have to talk about Dalit rights? Their secularism is in words and not in action. They are so eloquent about Dalit rights and claim to fight against atrocities on Dalits. I reality they are just hypocrites,” Rajan said.

Despite the media attention, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has feigned ignorance about the incident. Meanwhile, the SC ST commission and State Women’s Commission have ordered an enquiry into the alleged attack.

 

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