Kerala opposition leader Chennithala withdraws remark

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], September 9 (ANI): Kerala opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala on Wednesday withdrew his remark asking “whether only Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) activists could harass women,” and expressed regret for it.

September 9, 2020

National

3 min

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Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], September 9 (ANI): Kerala opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala on Wednesday withdrew his remark asking “whether only Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) activists could harass women,” and expressed regret for it.
“My words, even if misinterpreted and taken out of context, should not cause the slightest pain to women. While answering a question at yesterday’s press conference, I realised that there was an unintentional reference from my side which I had not thought through. I have worked so long with political conviction and such a reference should not have happened. I withdraw my reference and express my regret,” Chennithala said.
He further said, “Two young women were tortured as a result of serious lapses from the side of the government system. The health department is responsible for torturing a young woman in an ambulance in Aranmula and another woman by a health inspector in Thiruvananthapuram. Responsibility should be taken for these two incidents that have pushed Kerala to the brink of stigma before the world,” he said.
Chennithala added, “In addition to ensuring that the perpetrators are punished in accordance with the law, the government should take steps to end the lapses, corruption, and nepotism in the containment of the coronavirus.”
The Opposition leader on Tuesday landed in a controversy when replying to a question at a press conference on the allegations that a junior health inspector accused of raping a woman who approached for a COVID-19 negative certificate was a Congress activist, Chennithala had said, “Is it written anywhere that only DYFI activists can sexually abuse a woman?”
“You are all spreading lies saying he is a member of NGO association and part of Congress but my information is that he is part of the NGO Union (Left affiliated),” added Chennithala.
The remark of the Congress leader invited criticism from CPI(M) who sought apologies. Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja and CPI( M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, demanded a public apology from the Congress leader.
Chennithala had consequently issued a statement saying that his statement was misinterpreted and he was being shown in a poor light by extracting one sentence from the press meet.
“I tried to say that not only DYFI activists but also NGO union members are sexually abusing women. If you examine my whole press meet, the doubts will be cleared,” he said.
Recently, a junior health inspector has been charged under section 376 of the IPC amounting to rape. (ANI)

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