Women legislators storm Kerala speaker's podium

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 7 (IANS) Four women legislators Thursday stormed to the Kerala speaker's podium during an assembly session, demanding action against police officials who they alleged assaulted two opposition MLAs outside the assembly Wednesday.

Opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) legislators K.K. Lathika, K.S. Saleekha, P. Aisha Potti and Janata Dal (Secular)'s Jameela Prakasam made a dash towards Speaker G. Karthikeyan's podium demanding suspension of the police officials for their alleged action.

They made the move after expressing dissatisfaction over Chief Minister Oommen Chandy's proposal to sit and watch the visuals of the incident.

The speaker was forced to call the watch and ward staff to control the agitated legislator and quickly completed the listed business before adjourning the house for the day.

"Additional Director General of Police A. Hemachandran has submitted a report on what happened yesterday (Wednesday). The report states that there is no evidence that the two women legislators were roughed up by the police.

"Moreover, the legislators are unable to identify who roughed them up. Hence, the government has decided to order a judicial probe into the allegations," the chief minister said.

Chandy added: "We cannot suspend police officials without any evidence. We will wait for the judicial probe report."

Communist Party of India (CPI) MLAs K.S. Bijimol and Geetha Gopi were allegedly roughed up Wednesday during a protest demanding a new probe into the allegations raised by the Suryanelli sex scandal victim that Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien had exploited her 17 years ago.

"We met the two legislators who were admitted to the Medical College hospital here and are in pain following the assault by police.

"Bijimol's 'mangalsutra' was snatched in the melee. Police should have not treated legislators, especially women, in this manner. The police officials responsible for the assault should be suspended. We accept the judicial probe into the incident," CPI-M Politburo member V.S. Achuthanandan said.


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