CPI MLA E.S. Bijimol says police roughed her up

Left Democratic Front (LDF) legislators and pro-LDF women activists on Wednesday took their ire against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien, facing renewed charges in the Suryanelli sexual exploitation incident, to the well and entrance of the Assembly resulting in disruption of the House proceedings and a face-off with the police lasting several hours.

The day began with All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) activists trying to barge into the Assembly premises. They almost succeeded in their mission, but security personnel moved in quickly to push the women activists back and shut the gates. The police arrested 76 activists. The AIDWA began a sit-in demanding release of their arrested colleagues. Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan and other leaders reached the spot and later drove to the Armed Reserve Camp where the women activists were about to be taken to. Following discussions, police authorities agreed to release the agitators on personal surety and admit the injured to hospital.

Negotiations

Even as the negotiations progressed, activists of the CPI-led National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) arrived before the Assembly under the leadership of E.S. Bijimol, MLA. Soon they were engaged in a scuffle with the police and Ms. Bijimol lay before the police van in which her compatriots were about to be taken away. Mr. Achuthanandan rushed to the scene and escorted her to the Assembly where she alleged that the police personnel had roughed her up. Later, she was admitted to the medical college hospital along with her party colleagues Geetha Gopi, MLA, and former MLA R. Latha Devi.

Although Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan assured the Opposition that the government would take action against the police personnel if any wrong doing was found through an inquiry, this did not satisfy the Opposition members. They moved into the well of the House taking exception to the Home Minister’s stand. Speaker G. Karthikeyan, who had earlier suspended the sitting twice following turbulence, found that the House could not carry out its business in the face of Opposition ire and adjourned the House for the day.

Earlier, during zero hour, the House witnessed an Opposition walkout over the Suryanelli issue when the government refused to entertain the LDF’s demand for a reinvestigation against Prof. Kurien. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Mr. Radhakrishnan made it clear that though the government had an open mind on the issue, it could do things only in accordance with the law.

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