//Police brutality against women activists in Kerala

Police brutality against women activists in Kerala

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006, IndiaEnews

Thiruvananthapuram – Kerala takes pride in being a matrilineal society but no mercy is shown to women during protests as was evident when a female Youth Congress leader was brutally kicked in her stomach by policemen.

Things are much the same for women activists of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) who also bore the brunt of police fury when they were in the opposition during 2001-06.

National secretary of Youth Congress Deepthi Mary Varghese, who arrived from Delhi to oversee the activities of the organisation, was leading a protest march here Monday against P.J. Joseph, the state public works minister. The opposition led by the Congress is demanding his resignation in a corruption scandal when he was a minister in the 1996-2001 cabinet of then chief minister E.K. Nayanar.

A group of policemen assaulted Varghese in front of the Kerala assembly in the afternoon.

‘I am going to approach the National Human Rights Commission because what happened was a blatant violation of human rights because there were no women police personnel. It was the policemen who unleashed an attack on me and on my male colleagues,’ said Varghese.

She is now convalescing at the Medical College hospital here and has to undergo several tests. ‘I am told I have to be here for the next two or three days and my whole body is paining,’ added Varghese.

If Varghese is writhing in pain now, last year Sindhu Joy, state president of the Students Federation of India, was assaulted by police and now moves around in crutches.