Days after raising allegations against magician Gopinath Muthukad, Chitra CR, mother of a child with a developmental disability, said she has lodged a complaint with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Kerala Social Justice Minister R Bindu, and six others through email and by post. Her son was a former student of the Different Art Centre (DAC), founded by the magician.
In a Facebook post on Saturday, January 13, Chitra said, “A question that people constantly ask is, why am I not filing a case against Muthukad. In a society where he is hailed as a god-like figure, I had this conviction that the issue should come to the public’s attention before I file a case.” The six others with whom she filed the complaint include the Chief Secretary of Kerala, the Principal Secretary, the State Disability Commission, the Chief Commissioner of Disabilities, the Central Finance Minister, and the Minister of Home Affairs.
Over the past six months, Chitra has been posting several allegations on Facebook against Muthukad and his institution in Thiruvananthapuram. Chitra's primary concern has been the alleged misuse of the government funds allocated to Muthukad’s arts centre. On December 29, she raised allegations of financial mismanagement against the institution through a Facebook post. She questioned the lack of proper audit regarding the utilisation of the allocated funds. Chitra also alleged that Muthukad is hypocritical, only showing care and affection towards children in public for better traction.
After around three days, several other parents came out in Chitra’s support and shared their personal experiences. They alleged the institute was using the children for fundraising purposes, publicising images of the children without consent. A few parents also alleged Muthukad misbehaved with them when they shared their concerns. CP Shihab, a person with a disability who was a former employee of DAC, also came forward in support of the allegations, including misbehaviour.
When TNM spoke to Muthukad, he said that he was not someone who would do or say the things alleged against him and that DAC’s funds were properly audited.