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regular-article-logo Sunday, 19 May 2024

Congress accuses CPM of frame-up plot in sexual abuse case involving K. Sudhakaran

Convicted said officer had compelled him to also accuse Cong President of taking Rs 25 lakh from him in another case related to sale of fake antiques

K.M. Rakesh Bangalore Published 20.06.23, 05:04 AM
K. Sudhakaran

K. Sudhakaran File picture

A Pocso convict on Monday told a Kerala court that a police officer had forced him to give a statement saying state Congress president K. Sudhakaran was present when he sexually abused a minor at his home in Ernakulam, the convict’s lawyer told reporters.

The allegation by Monson Mavunkal, a controversial antiques dealer arrested in September 2021, has prompted the Congress to accuse the chief minister’s office and the CPM’s state leadership of a conspiracy to trap political rivals in false cases.

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CPM mouthpiece Deshabhimani had on Sunday carried a report accusing Sudhakaran of being present when Monson raped the minor. CPM state secretary M.V. Govindan later repeated the allegation before reporters, attributing the “information” to a recorded statement from the survivor.

Several Malayalam newspapers and television channels have reported that their sources in the crime branch denied the existence of any such statement.

The officer implicated by Monson, recently handed a life sentence in a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act case, is deputy superintendent of police Rustom.

Monson said the officer had compelled him to also accuse Sudhakaran of taking Rs 25 lakh from him in another case related to the sale of fake antiques such as the purported “staff” of Moses and the “throne” of Tipu Sultan.

The police had controversially named the state Congress president and Lok Sabha member as the second accused in that case.

The controversy comes at a time the CPM and the Left Democratic Front government have been accused by Opposition parties, writers and social activists of targeting journalists whose reports they find unpalatable.

Sudhakaran has admitted visiting Monson, who moonlights as a quack, to have a skin condition treated but has denied any role in selling fake antiques.

K. Soman, a judge in an additional district sessions (Pocso) court, had on Saturday sentenced Monson to life for raping a minor girl several times since 2019.

Monson’s deposition against Rustom came duringa hearing via videoconferencing of another case, which relates to charges that he raped the same survivor after she became a major.

His lawyer Sreejith told reporters after the hearing that the court had ordered Monson to submit a written complaint against the police officer through his jail superintendent.

Congress leaders called news conferences on Monday to accuse the CPM and the LDF government of fabricating evidence to silence political rivals.

“If the CPM still has leaders with a bit of humanity and culture left, I am asking them to give their reactions within their party,” Sudhakaran said.

“Not even in my worst dreams had I expected a government to stoop so low,” he added.

“I don’t know if anyone would find fault with me if I say that this kind of political leadership is an insult to society itself.”

Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan said: “We are demanding stringent (government) action against Deshabhimani and Govindan for spreading such blatant lies. If not, we will seek legal recourse.”

Satheesan alleged the involvement of the chief minister’s office.

“It’s very clear that there’s a larger conspiracy to discredit the state Congress president and other Opposition leaders. This is a conspiracy carried out by the chief minister’s office and Govindan,” he alleged.

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