Controversial Kerala Commission for Women chief MC Josephine said on June 5 that the CPI(M) is capable of acting as police and court at the same time and there was no need to intervene in a sexual harassment case if a survivor has approached the party. She was responding to a question on why the panel has not intervened in a slew of rape cases involving CPI(M) leaders and senior functionaries.
In many sensational cases including the one in which CPI(M) workers were involved in the rape-murder of minor Dalit children, the state women’s panel chief turned a blind eye. In one instance, she said “if I am subjected to sexual harassment, I will go the party rather than to the police.”
In another case involving CPI(M) MLA PK Sasi in which he had allegedly sexually harassed a DYFI woman activist, the woman’s panel chief said “the party is capable of giving justice to the victim”. In this case, the CPI(M) formed a three-member committee, including woman member PK Sreemathy Teacher, which found that the “rape was of low intensity”, triggering a huge outrage in the state. Ironically, Sasi was selected as the captain of a state-wide women’s march staged for protection of women’s rights.