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September 2021 - 2:32 pm IST

Kerala

Complaint to Lok Ayukta for action against Saseendran for intervention in sexual harassment case

Complaint to Lok Ayukta for action against Saseendran for intervention in sexual harassment case

Published:27 July 2021

A complaint has been made to the Kerala Lok Ayukta seeking directions for removal of state Forest Minister A K Saseendran from the cabinet for his alleged intervention in a sexual harassment case against an NCP leader to setlle the matter.

Thiruvananthapuram | A complaint has been made to the Kerala Lok Ayukta seeking directions for removal of state Forest Minister A K Saseendran from the cabinet for his alleged intervention in a sexual harassment case against an NCP leader to setlle the matter.
The complaint has been filed by one Navas, who is the state general secretary of Yuva Janata, a wing of Bharatiya National Janata Dal.
The complainant has urged the Lok Ayukta to take appropriate action against the minister.
The issue of Saseendran's alleged intervention in the sexual harassment case was raised in the second session of the Kerala Assembly by the Congress which had sought his removal.
However, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan defended his embattled colleague by saying that the minister had already made it clear that he had interfered thinking it was some party-related matter.
The Chief Minister had also informed the Assembly that police were probing the complaint of the victim and there was no need to discuss it in the House.
In view of the stand taken by the chief minister, the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) staged a walkout.
Saseendran had to resign as transport minister from the first Vijayan government, in the wake of sleaze talk allegations against him.
In the instant matter, after her statement was recorded, the victim told the media she told the police about the harassment faced at the hands of NCP leader Padmakaran.
The issue came to the fore after Malayalam news channels started airing an alleged telephonic conversation between Saseendran and the woman's father, seeking to settle the issue by mutual agreement.
Subsequently, the minister had told the media that he did call up the girl's father, but to try and settle what he thought was a dispute in the party.
He had claimed that when he found out that it was a case of attempted sexual assault, he did not intervene any further.
The woman, a BJP member, has alleged that Padmakaran had asked her in March whether she had joined BJP to earn money and if so, he would pay her and had then allegedly grabbed her arm.
However, she had not lodged a complaint then.
Thereafter, he used to mock her at various fora and then on June 28 posted her election campaign poster on WhatsApp with a comment that her father got her to join the BJP for earning money.
Upon seeing this, the woman related the earlier incident to her father following which he preferred to lodge a complaint with the police.


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