Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Government
today said an investigation would be conducted into a report
of "sexual harassment" of a mother-daughter duo 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 in
reply to a submission by Congress member V D Satheeshan.
If the report that appeared in a news portal was correct
it was shocking, he said.
Sateeshan said the online report has alleged that two
domestic tourists -- a woman and her teenage daughters -- were
recently sexually harassed by volunteers of Vana Samrakshna
Samithi, a community organisation set up by the government to
protect forests. According to the report, the VSS volunteers
also threatened them with dire consequences if they complained
to police about the incident, he said.
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 tourism sector in the state, Sateeshan said.