Two CPM leaders booked over rape charges in Kerala

Vadakara: The police have registered cases against two CPM leaders in Kozhikode district on charges of raping a woman, who is a branch committee member of the party. The accused are secretary of CPM Mulliyeri branch Pullulla Parambath Baburaj and Pathiyarakkara area secretary of the party’s youth wing DYFI, T P Lijeesh.

Following the development, the CPM expelled both leaders from the party.

The victim is a married woman with two children. According to her complaint, Baburaj raped her three months ago by threatening to break into her house and kill her. Subsequently, he exploited the woman sexually several times again by blackmailing her that he would reveal the incident to her husband and local people.

Later, Lijeesh too raped her with the threat of making her relationship with Baburaj public. The harassed woman soon approached the police inspector, Vadakara with a plea to file a case against the CPM leaders and to provide protection to her.

The CPM led left government was in the eye of the storm recently for the insensitive remarks made by former Women's Commission Chairperson MC Josephine.

Josephine, a central committee member of CPM, resigned on Friday, as women activists of the opposition Congress and BJP took out protest marches against her.

Josephine had courted controversy when she spoke harshly to a woman complainant of domestic violence during a live television programme on Manorama News on Wednesday, causing embarrassment to the Marxist party.

Josephine, while attending the television show asked the woman, who alleged that she was being harassed by her husband and mother-in-law, if she had filed a police complaint against them.

When the woman replied in the negative, Josephine could be seen reacting angrily, and asked her to "suffer" for not approaching the police.

The chairperson's remarks had come days after the state had witnessed the shocking incident of dowry related death of a 24-year-old woman, Vismaya, who was found hanging in her husband's house hardly a year after her marriage.

A couple of similar incidents of crime against women have been reported in the state in the past few days.

Meanwhile, the CPM has decided to launch a state-wide 'Streepaksha Keralam' campaign starting from July 8 on gender justice.

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