Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala government Tuesday
said an investigation would be conducted into an online media
report that a woman and her teenaged daughter were `sexually
harassed` by volunteers of a forest protection committee at a
tourist spot in Achankovil forest range in Kollam District.
Both police and forest vigilance would probe the alleged
incident, Forest Minister Binoy Viswam told the Assembly
replying to a submission by Congerss member V D Satheeshan.
If the report that appeared in a news portal was correct
it was shocking, he said adding the culprits would be punished
according to law.
Sateeshan said the report had said the two domestic
tourists were recently sexually harassed by volunteers of Vana
Samrakshna Samithi, a community organisation set up by the
government to protect forests, after they along with some
others accompanying them were tied to a tree.
The VSS volunteers also threatened them with dire
consequences if they complained to police about the incident,
Action should be taken against the culprits if the report
was correct else stringent action should be taken against the
portal for publishing the news item that would cause damage to
the tourist sector in the state, he said.