Mariyakutty receives welfare pension amid legal battle against CPM

Bank officials hand over pension amount to Mariyakutty. Photo: Manorama

Idukki: Mariyakutty, the Adimaly native octagenarian who protested against the disruption in pension disbursal by begging, finally received one month's welfare pension on Tuesday.

Officials from Adimali Service Co-operative Bank reached her residence on Tuesday and handed over Rs 1,600 to her. The government distributed the pension after Mariyakutty decided to file a defamation suit against CPM mouthpiece Deshabhimani. After her protest hit the headlines, the newspaper claimed that she owned one-and-a-half acres of land at Pazhampillichal at Mannamkandam Village, near Adimaly. The paper also falsely reported that she had rented out two houses and that her daughter was working abroad.

When the Mannamkandam village officer certified that the 87-year-old woman owned no property in the village, Deshabhimani retracted the news article and issued an apology. But Mariyakutty decided to launch a legal battle against the newspaper and CPM for spreading fake news.

Mariyakuttty and her friend Annama Ouseph went around Adimaly town begging to voice their protest against the disruption in pension disbursal. Irked by the publicity to her protest, CPM activists allegedly raised allegations against her

Following the protest, the CPM said Jincy Mathew, the chairperson of the Adimaly grama panchayat development standing committee and ward member of 200 Acre, was responsible for the delay in pension disbursal as she had delayed the mustering process. Mariyakutty also accused CPM men of pelting stones at her house.

Meanwhile, the BJP and Congress extended support to her legal battle after she proved CPM's allegations wrong by securing a certificate from the village officer. On Sunday, senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala declared that he would give Rs 1,600 to Mariyakutty and Annama every month till the government resumes pension distribution. Actor-turned-BJP leader Suresh Gopi also visited these elderly women.

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