M.A.S.E.S strongly condemn this act and requests the intervention of concerned authorities and Government. Pl share widely.
Chithralekha, the Dalit woman auto rickshaw driver from Payannur (who has been fighting the CITU/CPM in her locality for a long time now), and her husband Shreeshkanth, have been picked up by the police and arrested on the non-bailable offense of obstructing a government official in the conduct of his duties. The Government Official who is the Jila Panchayath SC officer ( M B Muralidharan, an upper caste man) had withheld Chithra’s loan, and she had questioned him on this. This happened in the month of January 2013. When Chithra questioned him, he abused her in the most derogatory way. Citing all this, Chithra had complained to the SC/ST commission and they had called her for a meeting about this case in June 2013. The said official was to be summoned under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. However, instead of doing that, the police has instead arrested Chithra and is right now taking her to the magistrate. They arrested her in a most stealthy way. First they booked a non existing traffic offense case against her and took away her autorickshaw by crane. When she went to inquire about this, she was told that there is a case against her, and she was arrested.
We urge dalit activists, women’s groups and concerned citizens to support Chithra in her struggle. Please protest against this gross injustice against a struggling dalit woman.
Please also read What I have to say: Chitralekha when Chitra was attacked by a mob of 30 men in the month of May, 2013 – she writes her account of that horrific incident and the attitude of the police towards her and her family.