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Dalit women who got jailed for ‘beating up CPI-M men’, gets bail in Kerala

On Friday, June 17, Thalassery Police presented Akhila and Anjana before a court that sent the two siblings and Akhila's 18-month-old baby to jail

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Dalit Women. Image source: dalitwomencaucus.blogspot.com
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  • On Friday, Thalassery Police presented Akhila and Anjana before a court that sent the two siblings and Akhila’s 18-month-old baby to jail
  • The Congress party accused the ruling party of misusing power to send the two Dalit women to jail on false charges
  • CPI-M legislator A.M. Shamsheer said the two women trespassed into their party office and the law took its course

KERALA: A court here in Kerala on Saturday, June 18 granted bail to two Dalit women who were sent to jail on Friday for “trespassing into Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) office and beating up two party men”.

The Congress party, however, accused the ruling party of misusing power to send the two Dalit women — Akhila, 30, and her 25-year-old sister Anjana — to jail on false charges.

“The conditional bail has been given to the women and every Saturday, they have to report before the probe official and have to surrender their passport,” the counsel for the two women told reporters here.

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On Friday, June 17, Thalassery Police presented Akhila and Anjana before a court that sent the two siblings and Akhila’s 18-month-old baby to jail.

Dalit women in South India. Image source: dalitskerala.wordpress.com
Dalit women in South India. Image source: dalitskerala.wordpress.com

This case has by now drawn national attention with the media taking it up in a big way and the National Commission for Scheduled Caste looking into it as well.

“This is the biggest joke, such a thing never happened… and that too, two hapless young women beating up CPI-M men at their office. These are absolutely ridiculous and baseless allegations,” the Congress party’s Kerala unit president V.M. Sudheeran said while addressing a party function in Thiruvananthapuram.

Later, addressing reporters in Thiruvananthapuram, Sudheeran said the officials who acted at the behest of the CPI-M leaders should be taken to task for this act.

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Minister for Culture and SC/ST A.K. Balan told reporters in Delhi that they will look into the matter and see if anything wrong was done.

CPI-M state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said “this is the ploy of the Congress party to see that through all this, they can get into the good books of the community by targeting us”.

“The bail application could have been moved on Friday, but none of the Congress people wanted to do so,” said Balakrishnan.

Akhila and Anjana are daughters of Congress leader N. Rajan and his family has come under frequent fire from the CPI-M leaders after he contested last year’s local body election against a top CPI-M leader at Thalassery.

“They went to the CPI-M office to plead with those present there to leave them alone and not make them a subject of ridicule as they have been mentally harassed for long,” said Kannur district Congress president K. Surendran.

CPI-M legislator A.M. Shamsheer, who represents Thalassery constituency, said the two women trespassed into their party office and the law took its course. (IANS)

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Indian Catholic Nuns Call Out For Justice In Kerala

The protest, now in its sixth day in Kochi, Kerala's financial hub, is gathering momentum as the locals, activists, writers and politicians come out in support.

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Nuns hold placards during a protest demanding justice after an alleged sexual assault of a nun by a bishop in Kochi, in the southern state of Kerala, India. VOA

A group of Indian Catholic nuns are staging a rare street protest in the southern state of Kerala demanding justice after an alleged sexual assault of a nun by a bishop.

Police have called the bishop named in the complaint for a second round of questioning next week. The bishop has denied wrongdoing.

The case comes at a time when the Christian community, which accounts for 19 percent of the state’s population, is reeling under an erosion of trust as sexual abuse cases involving the clergy pile up.

Five priests were arrested last month in two different sexual assault cases, while last year, a Catholic priest who was trying to flee the country was arrested after a minor he is accused of having sex with gave birth.

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The nun in a letter said she wanted the Vatican to intervene. She said she was forced to make matters public after several attempts to seek justice from within the church failed.

The protest, now in its sixth day in Kochi, Kerala’s financial hub, is gathering momentum as the locals, activists, writers and politicians come out in support.

A man, who is on an indefinite hunger strike, lay in front of the stage where the protesting nuns sat. A nun coordinating the protest dismissed allegations that they were trying to disgrace the church.

“Our fight is for the truth. We will not back out unless the truth is established and the nun is given justice,” she told Reuters.

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The Catholic Church in Germany acknowledged a “depressing and shameful” legacy of sexual abuse on Wednesday after a leaked study said clerics had abused thousands of children over 70 years.

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The leaked study was published on the day that Pope Francis, who has made several attempts to tackle a spreading sexual abuse crisis that has badly tarnished the Church’s image worldwide, summoned senior bishops from around the world to the Vatican to discuss the protection of minors. (VOA)