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Congress-led opposition attacks Kerala government over ‘rising rapes’

Pinarayi Vijayan20170308151015_l

Thiruvananthapuram, March 8 (IANS) On International Women’s Day, the Congress-led opposition staged a walk out of the Kerala assembly on Wednesday citing increasing number of cases of rape and exploitation of women in the state and tardy probe by police.

Seeking leave for an adjournment motion to discuss rise in number of cases of women and girls becoming victims of rape and exploitation, Congress leader K. Muraleedharan said in the May 2016 assembly polls the Left Democratic Front (LDF) rode to power on the campaign agenda of a young woman’s rape-murder.

"You then said you will set everything right if elected and now is this the way you are setting everything right. Just look the numerous cases of rape and exploitation that has taken place in the past few weeks. The attack on a popular film actress, a priest turning an accused in a case where a 17-year-old girl delivered a baby boy and along with him there are half a dozen others who helped him, two sisters aged 9 and 13 hailing from Palakkad found hanging in their homes in a gap of few weeks, seven girls getting violated by a group of youths in Kalpetta are the cases that have surfaced. Is this what you meant by everything will be set right. This occurred because the police are not doing their job and all such cases get diluted when the probe progresses," said Muraleedharan.

Defending the action taken by the police, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan pointed out that the police have been going forward with their investigation in all these cases in the proper manner.

"In the actress kidnap case, by now all those who view things on a non-political note have applauded the police for the way the probe is going on, while in the Palakkad case, the statements of the medical professional and the final report of the post mortem have formed the basis for the police and their probe is progressing in the right direction. In Kalpetta, as soon as the case surfaced the police swung into action and have taken into custody six people who are responsible for the crime. With regards to the case where the Catholic priest Robin Mathew is an accused, it has come to light that he has a criminal mindset.

"In all these cases, the police are going about their probe in the right manner and the relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act have been included in the list of charges against the accused," said Vijayan.

The Chief Minister asked the opposition to support the government and work unitedly in such cases.

Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, before leading out the entire opposition out of the House, said the Vijayan government has turned out to be a "dismal failure" and the police have been a mere spectator, unable to do anything meaningful.

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