Kerala Congress chief booked for remarks on rape victims

Kerala Congress chief Mullappally Ramachandran was on Tuesday booked by police for his controversial remarks on rape victims, comments that had sparked strong reactions from woman leaders, including from his own party, prompting him to tender an apology.

The state Congress President was booked under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, including outraging the modesty of women, over his recent remarks.

The Women’s police station here registered a case against him on a complaint.

“A case has been registered under sections 354 A and 509 of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) after the complaint was forwarded to us from the city police commissioner,” an investigating officer told PTI.

Section509 of IPC deals with insulting the modesty of any woman while 354 A is outraging the modesty of a woman.

Ramachandran had on November 1 stirred a row with his remarks when he said, “every day, this woman would wake up saying she has been raped by someone. It’s a desperate attempt by the (Left) to dress up a prostitute and make her stand behind the curtain and make her tell tales. This game will not work.”

“One can understand when a woman is raped once. But what if she repeatedly says this. A woman with self respect will either die by committing suicide after she is raped, or else try not to be sexually assaulted again,” Ramachandran had said while speaking at a protest meet organised against the state government over various issues.

He had made these comments while criticising the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) after a woman accused in a solar scam case gave a statement to the police recently, accusing former Congress minister A P Anil Kumar of raping her.

The Congress leader’s remarks drew sharp reactions from CPI(M) leader and state Health Minister K K Shailaja,the state Women’s Commission chief and his own party MLA Shanimol Usman, following which he later tendered an unconditional apology.

The solar scam broke out in 2013 during the rule of the UDF government led by the then Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, when a company defrauded a number of investors of large amounts of money on the false promise of installing solar panels or making them business partners.

The names of several leaders of the then ruling-UDF had cropped up in connection with the main accused woman in the case and Ramachandran was apparently referring to her when he made his statement on Sunday.

Shailaja had said the remarks were highly condemnable and the state women’s panel registered a case against the Congress chief on its own.

Ramachandran had earlier made controversial remarks against Shailaja in June, calling her a “Covid Queen” and a “Nipah princess”, referring to her handling of these diseases as the Health Minister.

After a row erupted over his latest remarks against rape victims, he apologised, saying his statement was misinterpreted by certain persons.

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