One of the two Dalit sisters who were arrested for allegedly assaulting CPI(M) workers in Thalasserry (Kannur district) and later released on bail was admitted in a hospital in serious condition after overdosing on pills.
“She was rushed to the hospital after she collapsed in her house. The 25-year-old is still not out of danger,” said a senior doctor of Indira Gandhi Co-operative Hospital.
The girls’ relatives said Anjana was disturbed after a CPI(M) leader spoke rudely about her during a TV channel discussion after she was released from Kannur central jail on Saturday evening.
Their arrest on non-bailable charges triggered protests, and the National Commission for SC/ST sought a report on the matter from the state police chief. However, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan feigned ignorance when he was asked about the incident in Delhi.
The CM was in Delhi to attend the party central committee meeting.
The incident has also caused significant embarrassment to the fledgling government, and spiralled into a major political controversy with both Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dubbing it the latest instance of the CPI(M)’s politics of intolerance in its stronghold, Kannur.
National Commission for Women chairperson Lalitha Kumaramangalam and BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi visited Pinarayi town, the CM’s village, and surrounding areas that have witnessed large-scale post-poll violence.
Daughter of local INTUC leader N Rajan, 30-year-old Akhila and Anjana, were summoned to Thalasserry police station on Friday in connection with a case of allegedly barging into a CPI(M) office and manhandling three party workers. The sisters were later sent to jail along with Akhila’s 16-month-old child.
The girls, however, claim they went to the office to question some party workers who often harassed them by calling them by their caste name. They say the party worker verbally abused them when confronted.
A senior police officer, who did not want to be identified, said police were pressured to book the duo under stringent provisions.
PCC president VM Sudheeran and BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan condemned the police action. “Kannur is witnessing a jungle raj under the CPI(M) regime,” said state Mahila Congress chief Bindu Krishna.
The girls’ father was a Congress candidate in the last local body elections and his house has reportedly been attacked twice.