Dalit parents of Walayar rape victims started dharna at the premises of their own home in Walayar, Palakkad, Kerala, on October 25, 2020, on the occasion of the first anniversary of the court verdict acquitting the accused who were alleged to be belonging to CPM. Leaders of the Sangh-oriented organisations like Hindu Aikya Vedi, VHP, ABVP and BJP visited the pandal and declared their strong support to the bereaved family.
Both parents unleashed their anger against Pinaryi Vijayan, Kerala CM and CPM supremo, and the police officers who were in-charge of investigation. Their daughters aged 13 and 9 were found hanging in their own home 52 days apart on January 13, 2017, and March 4, 2017, respectively. But the POCSO court acquitted the accused due to laxity of evidence. However, the court observed that Prosecution miserably failed to prove the alleged offences. Interestingly N. Rajesh, the Chairman of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), was replaced as he appeared as the legal counsel for one of the accused. But, he was appointed again to the same position. It had raised a lot of eyebrows. The mother of the minors had told the media that the younger victim was an eyewitness to the murder of the elder one. She had told that she had seen two men, with covered faces, leaving her home after the death of her elder sister.
The father of the victims told the media that the Circle Inspector and the SI of Police had told him that if he was ready to confess (that he was the culprit), they would save him from the case. He refused point-blank. A witness who had seen one of the accused giving chocolates to the younger victim on the day of her death was not at all heard during the hearing, the parents alleged.
But, the revelation by the mother was really shocking: Punnala Sreekumar, leader of a faction of the Kerala Pulaya Maha Sabha (KPMS) which maintains a good rapport with CPM, took both the parents to see the CM last year on a particular day. (KPMS is the community organisation of Dalit Pualaya community in Kerala). That day coincided with the visit of the Chairman of National Commission of Scheduled Castes to the victim’s home. The wicked idea was to avoid a meeting between the parents and the Commission. The Chairman was told that the parents were away in Thiruvananthapuram. Hence he left sans meeting them. Significantly, the illiterate parents did not have any clue about this meeting. The mother told that Punnala was cheating them for the sake of saving the face of the CPM and Pinarayi. She revealed that she and her husband had touched Pinarayi’s feet at the behest of Punnala. But, despite high promises, CM did not move even his little finger to bring the culprits to justice. But, CM did not explain anything, during his press conference, other than a meaningless statement that he had cheated them.
BJP alleged that the accused of the first murder were taken out from the police station, by CPM workers, by force. If those culprits were booked properly and brought to justice, the younger one would not have been murdered, the parents state.
Now, even though BJP was the first political group to support the parents, now the entire opposition has come out against the government. No one believes that the Kerala Police, presided by the CM, will do at least posthumous justice to the victims; hence they all demand a CBI enquiry.
BJP state president K. Surendran alleged that Pinaryi’s ministerial colleague and CPM leader from Palakkad district A.K. Balan threatens the parents. His question that ‘why do they state dharna’ is an obvious but veiled threat. His question itself is inhuman. BJP chief wondered why did Balan send emissaries of the state government to them. He came down heavily on Pinarayi for giving promotion to the DySP Sojan and SI Chacko who played key roles to sabotage the Walayar murder case.
The so-called intellectuals and cultural leaders of the state have not bothered to issue even a statement in connection with the calamity the Dalit Walayar family suffered. The same people keep on reacting to even paltry cases in BJP ruled states, like UP, etc. Rahul Gandhi went to UP, the state where he was defeated in 2019 parliamentary elections, to protest against a rape incident there. But, he did not bother to come to Kerala, the state which returned him to Lok Sabha, to protest against the indifference of the CPM regime to this case. Even though he visited the state in October 2020, he did not utter a word about this, thanks to the national level rapport between his party and CPM.