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Kerala Leader Ramesh Chennithala Apologises after Remark on Rape Sparks Row

By: Neethu Reghukumar

CNN-News18

Last Updated: September 09, 2020, 16:30 IST

Thiruvananthapuram

File photo of Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala.

File photo of Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala.

His controversial remark was made about Congress links with a health inspector who is accused of molesting a woman who had sought a COVID-19 negative certificate.

Kerala opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala on Wednesday withdrew his remarks regarding rape and expressed regret over it. His controversial remark was made about Congress links with a health inspector who is accused of molesting a woman who had sought a COVID-19 negative certificate.

“My words, even if misinterpreted and taken out of context, should not cause even the slightest pain for women. I have worked so long with the political conviction that such a reference should not happen from my side. I withdraws my reference and express my regret,” he said in a Facebook post.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Chennithala was questioned over the health inspector’s affiliation to the Congress party. “The health inspector is a worker of the Congress-affiliated service union. If all the Congress workers sexually assault women like this, how can women live?” the leader was asked.

Chennithala responded by saying, “Is there any written rule that only DYFI activists can rape? It is being falsely propagated that the accused Pradeep Kumar is a Congress activist. When I enquired, I couldn’t find this.”

This comment had invited the ire of several people.

Kerala Health minister KK Shailaja had demanded an apology from Chennithala.

In his Facebook post on Wednesday, Chennithala said: There are Incidents of atrocities against women even in the government system, which Kerala never witnessed in its history. Kerala was ashamed of the incidents that even Covid patients were tortured.”

“I realised that while answering a question in yesterday’s press conference, there was an unintentional reference from my side which I have not even thought in my mind,” he added.

first published:September 09, 2020, 16:30 IST
last updated:September 09, 2020, 16:30 IST