According to the family, the woman worked as an ASHA worker and was a member of the CPI(M) as well.

A posterised image of a womans face with three men in the background looking at her Representational image only
news Death Friday, September 11, 2020 - 16:01

A 41-year-old woman named Asha was found dead on Thursday night in a one-room building in Udiyankulangara in Thiruvananthapuram. In a suicide note found on the spot, purportedly written by Asha, she has named two CPI(M) members for torturing her mentally and has blamed the party for not paying heed to her complaint.

Asha, who worked as an ASHA worker, was, according to her family, a member of the CPI(M) as well. She had even attended a committee meeting of the party a few days ago. However, the party has denied that Asha was a member. The police are yet to confirm if she was a member or merely a CPI(M) sympathiser. 

Asha’s death has caused a stir, especially when the police arrived to take her body. The locals gathered and protested, and were joined by Congress members as well. They demanded that the suicide note found be made public. The tahsildar then read out a portion of the note, which allegedly said that local committee member Kottaman Rajan, and Branch Secretary Anatharavilakam Joy, were the two CPI(M) members who had mentally harassed Asha. The note also said that she had complained to the party about the same repeatedly, but in vain.

Parassala Sub-Inspector of Police Ratheesh Kumar told TNM that a suicide note was found near Asha’s body. "It says that the two local leaders of the CPI(M) Kottamam Rajan and Joy have mentally harassed her. And that a complaint had been lodged with the party. That's all that the note says and it's not clear if the party took action on the complaint or not.”

However, the suicide note also reportedly included financial dealings Asha had discovered as a Kudumbashree worker.

The police prima facie assumes it is a case of suicide. However, the SI said that no case has been registered so far against Rajan and Joy. “They can't be booked based on a mention in a suicide note. We are investigating if they had any role in the suicide. They will be booked if that is found to be the case."

Meanwhile, CPI(M) Thiruvananthapuram District Secretary Anavur Nagappan maintains that Asha was a party sympathiser. "The district committee didn't receive any complaint from her. We are just checking what exactly happened," he said.

Asha had been missing after 5.30 pm on Thursday. "It's assumed so, because there are people who saw her till 5. The building where she was found was that of the CPI(M) party -- it was hired for the party but didn't become functional." Ratheesh Kumar added.

Asha’s body is kept at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College. She is survived by her husband and two sons. Her brother B Unnikrishnan said that he believes foul play in his sister’s death. 

(With input from Saritha S Balan)

TNM is not using her picture, as the nature of her harassment is not yet known

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