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In a Twist in Tale, CPM Worker Suspended for 'Collecting Money' at Flood Relief Camp Proven Innocent

The man, identified as Omanakuttan, was only taking money to pay for an auto fare. However, as a video where he was seen collecting money from camp residents started doing the rounds, a probe was ordered and he was suspended from the party.

News18.com

Updated:August 17, 2019, 3:25 PM IST
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In a Twist in Tale, CPM Worker Suspended for 'Collecting Money' at Flood Relief Camp Proven Innocent
Members of a rescue team row a boat towards a submerged temple to look for a man believed to be stranded inside the temple during heavy rains in Kerala. (Image: Reuters)
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Thiruvananthapuram: The ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Kerala has landed in a tight spot after it suspended a party worker who was slapped with a case of non-bailable offence for allegedly ‘collecting money’ from people sheltered in a flood relief camp at the Ambedkar Community Hall in Cherthala in Alappuzha district.

The man, identified as Omanakuttan, was only taking money to pay for an auto fare. However, as a video where he was seen collecting money from camp residents started doing the rounds, a probe was ordered and he was suspended from the party.

On Saturday, the issue took another turn after Dr V Venu, Chief Executive Officer of Rebuild Kerala Initiative and Principal Secretary of Revenue and Disaster Management, put up a Facebook post to apologise to Omanakuttan and prove his innocence.

In the long-winding post, he narrated Omanakuttan's past deeds of social work and what actually transpired at the time when the video was shot. According to the post, Omanakuttan, who had ran out of cash, collected the same to pay for an auto fare after he fetched rice for the camp inmates.

Venu said, “I, on behalf of the department and the entire community that has dedicated itself to deal with the aftermath of flood fury, share the inconvenience caused to Omanakuttan. As the head of the disaster management department, I apologise before him.”

He said that this was not the first instance of Omanakuttan’s helping nature and he had been doing such work for decades and extending a helping hand to anyone, notwithstanding his cash-strapped situations. The case against Omanakuttan is likely to be withdrawn soon.

On Friday evening as his name was being tarnished on social media and elsewhere, Omanakuttan said, “Whenever stock runs out, we have to take a chit from the village office concerned to bring adequate material from the nearest civil supplies outlet. As he was running out of cash and was unable to pay for his conveyance while coming back from the outlet, he had to take some money from the camp residents.

The incident came days after a man was arrested in the state after he put up a Facebook post asking for money from flood-hit locals on the pretext of buying women's garments. He was later released on bail.

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