Kerala MSF Leader Arrested on Women's Wing Complaint of Harassment
Navas has been charged with Section 364 A of the Indian Penal Code for outraging the modesty of a woman.
PK Navas, the state president of the Muslim Students’ Federation (MSF) in Kerala, was arrested by the Chemmangad police in Kozhikode on a complaint filed by Haritha, the women's wing of MSF. Haritha had alleged that Navas had harassed them and spoken in a demeaning manner. MSF is the student wing of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), an ally of the Opposition Congress in the state.
Navas's arrest came two days after the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) dissolved the state committee of Haritha after the women wing leaders went public with serious allegations of sexual harassment by MSF leaders.
Navas has been charged with Section 364 A of the Indian Penal Code for outraging the modesty of a woman. The complaint by Haritha leaders against Nawas was filed at Vellayil station Kozhikode on 17 August and was handed over to the Inspector of Police Anithakumari of Chemmangad station for investigation.
"His arrest was recorded and he was let off on bail. His statement is yet to be recorded," Anithakumari told TNM. The complaint is that Navas had insulted Haritha workers at the state committee meeting of MSF held in Kozhikode in June.
The Haritha leaders raising their voice against their male colleague took the IUML by storm. The political party is known for male domination and patriarchal hierarchy within its ranks. It was after 25 years that the party fielded a female candidate in the Assembly elections held in April this year.
Haritha leaders had to come out publicly as no action was taken by the IUML based on their complaints. IUML state general secretary PMA Salam made the announcement of dissolving Haritha in Malappuram on Wednesday, 8 September. Salam cited repeated acts of indiscipline as the reason for dissolving Haritha and that a new state committee of Haritha will be appointed soon by the IUML.
(Published in an arrangement with The News Minute)
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