Twenty20 chief Sabu Jacob booked under SC/ST Act as MLA Sreenijin alleges insult

Sreenijin borrows Collector Bro's 'maapu' taunt to target T20s Sabu Jacob
Twenty20 chief Sabu M Jacob; CPM MLA Sreenijin. File Photo: Manorama News

Kochi: Police have registered a case against businessman-politician Sabu M Jacob based on a complaint filed by CPM MLA P V Sreenijin.

Police booked Jacob, the managing director of Kitex Group and the chief coordinator of the Twenty20 party, under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act for allegedly insulting the legislator.

Jacob is named the first accused, while Aikkaranadu panchayat president Deena Deepak is the second accused. A few other elected members of the panchayat have also been booked.

Sreenijin filed the complaint against the Twenty20 leaders based on an incident dating back to August 17. He has filed a complaint against the accused for insulting him by walking out off the stage when the MLA was about to inaugurate a meeting at Aikaranad. The incident happened at the venue of the Farmers' Day celebrations organised by the Aikaranad Krishi Bhavan on the occasion of Chingam 1, the first day of the Malayalam calendar.

 Apart from Jacob and Deepak, the case has been registered against panchayat vice-president Prasanna Pradeep and members Sathya Prakash, Jeel Mavelil and Rehani P T.

The section 3 (1)(r) of the Act deals with the offence of intentionally insulting or intimidating with an intent to humiliate a member of scheduled caste or a scheduled tribe in any place within public view. Meanwhile, section 3(1)(u) of the Act deals with the words, either written or spoken, promoting or attempting to promote feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will against members of the scheduled caste or scheduled tribe.

The FIR states that Jacob barred the panchayat members from attending any event with Sreenijin.

The MLA also complained that Jacob has made derogatory statements many times.

"He had made many derogatory statements against me but I always ignored it considering it as their political stand. But on August 17, the panchayat president invited me to attend a programme. When I reached there, those who were on the stage, including the panchayat president, left the dais and sat among the audience,"' Sreenijin told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.

Sreenijin alleged Jacob had earlier urged the people to treat the Left MLA as an enemy and barred the panchayat members from attending any functions with him. Sreenijin said it was not a political issue but a social one against ostracisation.

Jacob and Sreenijin have been maintaining a bitter relationship for long with the businessman accusing the MLA of orchestrating a series of raids against his company. Sreenijin represents the Kunnathunadu assembly constituency which falls under the Kizhakkambalam region, a stronghold of the Kitex-backed Twenty20 party, an ally of the Aam Aadmi Party in Kerala.

Part of vendetta: Jacob

Reacting to media reports about the case, Jacob said it was part of the vendetta politics Sreenjin has been waging ever since he became MLA. He said he was not present at the venue where the alleged insult of the MLA took place.

“Sreenijin became MLA by sheer luck. He already had a lot of money and now he has power. He is trying to retain the Kizhakkambalam seat by any means. He started harassing us by orchestrating 12 raids against Kitex as soon as he became MLA. He has been trying to get the power and water supply to the factory cut in a bid to shut the company and thus eliminate the Twenty20 movement. The latest case is only a part of his continued efforts to finish us off,” Jacob said.

He also blamed Sreenijin for orchestrating the violence among the labourers of his party on Christmas eve and the murder of Deepu, a Twenty20 activist, in February.

Jacob said the immediate trigger for the complaint was the success of a meeting organised by Twenty20 in Thiruvaniyoor panchayat, a stronghold of the CPM. “Of the eight panchayats in Kunathunad assembly constituency, four are ruled by Twenty20. Thiruvaniyoor is a CPM stronghold and the panchayat is ruled by the party. This Sunday (December 6), we organised a mega rally there and it panicked Sreenijin. That’s why a case has been registered now on the basis of an incident that took place in August,” Jacob said.

He said Twenty20 has been boycotting events attended by both CPM and Congress leaders for years as a protest against the mainstream parties’ attempts to eliminate the local organisation.

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