Arrest of Dalit sisters kicks up row in Kerala

According to police, the arrest was made on a complaint by CPI(M) that the women had barged into their party office here and attacked one M Shijin, a party activist, some days ago.

PTI| Last Updated: Jun 18, 2016, 20:02 PM IST

Thalassery: The arrest of two Dalit sisters, daughters of a local Congress leader, for allegedly attacking a CPI(M) activist here has kicked up a row in Kerala with Congress and BJP attacking the LDF government over the issue, even as a local court granted them bail on Saturday.

Intervening in the matter, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes stated that it would carry out an investigation into the matter, while the state SC/ST Commission registered a case in this regard.

Akhila (30) and Anjana (25), daughters of Indian National Trade Union Congress leader N Rajan were summoned to the police station yesterday, where a case was registered against them.

They were then sent to the women's jail after being charged with non-bailable offences.

Akhila went to the jail with her one-and-half-year old daughter, family sources said.

After their release this evening, the sisters were given a rousing reception by Congress activists.

"We do not know why the non-bailable charges were slapped against us. We had entered the CPI(M) office, but did not attack anyone," Akhila said.

According to police, the arrest was made on a complaint by CPI(M) that the women had barged into their party office here and attacked one M Shijin, a party activist, some days ago.

However, Rajan, their father, rejected the charges and said the case was "politically motivated."

Rajan, who had contested in the last local body elections against a CPI(M) candidate, also said Shijin had mocked his daughters calling them by their caste name when they were passing by in front of the party office and the girls had just questioned the verbal abuse.

"CPI(M) activists manhandled my daughters when they entered the party office," he said, adding that the party workers even attacked their house the same day.

The first class magistrate court here granted bail to the siblings and asked them to surrender their passports, if they had any.

Meanwhile, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes Chairman PL Punia said it would intervene in the matter and take steps to ensure that justice was meted out to them.

"We will intervene and inquire into the matter and ensure that justice is done to them ," he told a Malayalam news channel in New Delhi when asked about the issue.

The state Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes offered free legal aid for the siblings to fight the case.

Meanwhile, DGP Loknath Behera has sought a report from ADGP North Zone on the matter immediately.