Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Congress on Friday levelled allegations at the ruling CPI(M) in the state for protecting a party councillor involved in a gang-rape case after a 32-year-old woman, who hails from Thrissur, accused him and three other men of committing the heinous crime and mentally torturing her thereafter by forcing her to withdraw the police complaint.
The victim alleged that she was raped by Communist Party of India-Marxist councillor, P.N. Jayanthan, his brother and two others.
Kerala Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala questioned CPI(M) over protecting the guilty rather than suspending him.
"CPM is protecting the guilty. Probe led by ADGP should be ordered and a team of women officers should look into the matter", Chennithala told the media.
Kerala DGP Loknath Behera while addressing a press conference on Friday morning said, "I have asked a very high level investigating team to look into the matter."
Probe has been ordered into the rape allegation and on the conduct of the police officials.
Congress legislator Anil Akkara said in the assembly that Kerala, which celebrated its 60th birthday recently, now had to bend its head in shame because of numerous incidents of rape and abuse of women.
"The need of the hour is to keep aside politics and solve the case," he said.
"What's very serious is the victim had in a registered letter to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in August this year given a complaint and no one knows what happened to it and what follow up action was taken."
Akkara said the CPI-M government was protecting the accused as one of the them was seen in the assembly complex the other day, meeting ministers.
State Minister for Law A.K. Balan said the government was committed to make the accused face the law.
"A new investigation team has been appointed and neither politics nor party affiliations would come before anyone. You (opposition) can also cooperate and provide all the information you have to the government."
But opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said crimes against women were on the rise in Kerala now.
"Every day a ‘Draupadi' is being disrobed in Kerala," he said.
He said while it was true that the incident took place in 2014 when the Congress was in office, the first complaint surfaced only in 2016 after the Left assumed office.
"This case should be handed over to a lady additional director general of police. But you have handed over the probe to an officer who was part of the team before also," said Chennithala, and led the opposition out of the house.
CPI(M) MP Rajesh told CNN-News18 earlier in the day that strict action will be taken against the police official involved.
The accused CPI(M) Councillor Jayandan had on Thursday denied all allegations saying that he had given a loan of Rs 3 lakh to the woman and her husband and the allegations were made after he asked them to return the money.
He also alleged that the couple had demanded Rs 15 lakh from him, adding that he plans to file a defamation case against them.
In a disclosure made by the gang-rape victim, she said that the mental torture and the humiliation by the police forced her to withdraw the complaint.
"Which one of the four gave you the greatest pleasure," she was allegedly asked by the police.
Her story came to light when dubbing actress Bhagyalakshmi posted about this incident on Facebook. According to Bhagyalakshmi, the husband and the wife came to meet her and talk about this incident.
She held a press conference on Thursday along with her husband, Bhagyalakshmi and activist and actor Mala Parvathi where spoke about the ordeal.
Police complaint was filed on 2016 August 14 and the victim claimed that it took her almost one-and-a-half year time to file the complaint in the matter as she was scared. The accused had allegedly recorded the incidents and threatened her to make it public if she spoke about it.
The rape survivor said, "The torture at the police station was unbearable, they treated us like dogs. The police officer made gross remarks. They did not even understand the mental condition I was in and when I was not able to pinpoint they kept shouting at me.”
“I have a request to all of you. Please don’t make this a political issue. This is something which I have faced," she said.
She alleged that it was due to constant torture and humiliation that she was forced to withdraw the complaint. “What I had to go through at the police station was worse than the rape itself.”
Her husband added that the questions by the police cannot be even said in public.
They alleged that they are living in hiding now and it had been three months since they went to their house in Thrissur district.
She said, "Even after two years of the incident we are still being tortured. The accused tells my husband that they have my visuals. They even threatened to kill us and our children. We are being tortured even now; they roam around freely as if nothing happened. That’s when I thought we should speak about this."