Palakkad: A youth has been arrested for allegedly raping a young woman inside the Cherpulassery area committee office of the CPM in Kerala's Palakkad district last year. The arrested man is 21-year-old P Prakashan, a resident of Thattaruthodi, Puthanalkkal, in Palakkad.
The shocking incident and subsequent protests have embarrassed the CPM just ahead of the Lok Sabha election. The incident happened within the Palakkad Lok Sabha constituency. The party is apparently trying to address the issue by assuaging its cadre at the lower rungs. It has also alleged a conspiracy to defame it and called for a probe to unearth it.
The woman had claimed she was raped after her drink was spiked at the party office last June during a discussion over preparing a college magazine. The accused and the victim are students and are activists of the CPM’s students' wing - the Students' Federation of India (SFI).
The woman had given the same statement to a first-class magistrate.
The incident came to light when a newborn was found abandoned at Nagaripuram under Mannur panchayat limits around 1 pm on March 16. The police traced the unwed mother, who said the baby was born after she was allegedly raped by a youth activist inside the party office 10 months ago. The woman and the child are kept under observation at the district hospital in Palakkad.
District police chief PS Sabu said tests, including DNA analysis of the child, will be done in the case. The police had to return from the district hospital without questioning the woman after doctors certified she was not fully fit.
The SFI activist used to frequent the CPM office, the police have learnt. However, the accused has denied going there.