A day after the survivor of the 2017 Kerala sexual assault case approached the Kerala High Court alleging misconduct by trial court judge Honey M Varghese and political interference, senior leaders of the CPI(M) questioned the motives behind her allegation.
CPI(M) State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said that the timing of her petition appeared suspicious. Speaking to reporters, he said that the timing of filing the petition right before the Thrikkakara bye-poll appeared ‘suspicious’.
"This government has been with the survivor right from the day one. The prosecution too acted accordingly. The allegations made against the ruling front have no basis. If there are complaints, they can approach the court. Also, since this has now come before the court, let them examine it," he said.
Referring to the arrest of actor Dileep, one of the main accused in the case, Kodiyeri further said that it was because of the resolve they showed, that a prominent person was arrested.
“If it was the UDF (United Democratic Front) rule, no such arrest would have taken place," he said.
In her petition filed on Monday, the actor pointed fingers at the trial court judge, at the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala, and at Dileep’s lawyers, and asked the high court to ensure that the trial in her case does not end prematurely.
She alleged political interference in the case, and said that she suspects that Dileep has used his friends in the ruling front to ensure that the investigation in the case is not completed, and the trial is prematurely finished.
Speaking to Asianet news, former minister MM Mani said that he “felt that the actor assault case is a shameless case that has been going on for a while." In a reference to Dileep, he said, "the actor involved in the case has made a name as a good actor and I don't know how he was caught in this.”
“The government has absolutely nothing to do in the case which is now before the court,” he added.
He also went on to say that if the case is dug deeper, “many things that cannot be spoken about” might come out. After making the statement, the senior leader said that he had “no intention of talking about it further."
LDF Convener EP Jayarajan also said that it should be examined if the allegations were made with ulterior motives. He went on to add that the allegations would have no impact on the bye-poll in Thrikkakara.
"Anyone can approach the court. But you should inquire whether there is any vested interest behind this," he told Manorama News.
However, speaking on Tuesday at an election campaign for the Thrikkakara bye-poll, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the government is committed towards the safety of women and has taken particular care to support the survivor.
“The government will ensure that the survivor will get the justice that Vismaya and Uthara got,” he added, referring to two recent cases of violence against women in Kerala.
The actor was sexually assaulted in February 2017 by a man named ‘Pulsar’ Suni with the help of his accomplices.
The assault was allegedly masterminded by top Malayalam actor Dileep, who is named as accused number 8 in the case.
(This article has been edited to maintain anonymity.)
(Republished in collaboration with The News Minute.)