IUML removes former Haritha committee leader as MSF Vice-President

Fathima was among the members of its state committee Haritha who had accused MSF leaders of using vulgar language, and trying to oppress women.
Fathima Thahiliya
Fathima Thahiliya
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The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has dismissed a former Haritha member, Fathima Thahiliya, from the position of the national Vice President of the Muslim Students’ Federation’s (MSF). Haritha is the women’s wing of MSF. Fathima along with other members of Haritha state committee in Kerala had accused MSF leaders of using vulgar language, and trying to oppress women on several occasions. The members had also filed a complaint with the State Women’s Commission in August. 

After the members refused to withdraw the complaint, the IUML disbanded Haritha on September 8. The IUML claimed that they were disbanded on disciplinary grounds. Three days after the previous Haritha committee was disbanded, the IUML announced a new nine-member committee in which only one member of the previous committee was retained. The member, PH Ayisha Banu, was the only person who had not been a signatory to the sexual harassment complaint to the Women’s Commission.

Ten leaders of Haritha had accused MSF leaders of using vulgar language, and trying to oppress women. The allegations were against MSF state president PK Navas and Malappuram District General Secretary V Abdul Vahab. Haritha members had accused Navas and Vahab of using inappropriate and vulgar language against them during the state leadership meeting in Kozhikode on June 22. They had alleged that the two leaders had called them "infertile feminists" and that the MSF leaders had said that "even prostitutes" have opinions and that the Haritha wing leaders could therefore express theirs.

The IUML reportedly did not take any action despite this issue being taken up by Haritha members within the party forum. After the IUML’s repeated refusal to act, Haritha members approached the state women's commission. A police case was also filed. 

On September 10, PK Navas, the state president of the MSF, was arrested in Kozhikode based on a complaint filed by Haritha. This was after Haritha alleged that Navas had harassed them and spoken in a demeaning manner. Navas has been charged with Section 364 A of the Indian Penal Code for “outraging the modesty of a woman.” The complaint by Haritha leaders against Nawas was filed at Vellayil station Kozhikode on August 17. 

The IUML is an ally of the Congress party and is a member of the United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala. 

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