On January 31, 2014, Chitralekha (the dalit woman autorickshaw driver from Payannur, Kerala, who has been fighting CITU/CPM men and who has faced repeated attacks from them in the past) and her family were again attacked at her home by a group of CPM goons belonging to its youth wing. Her husband is now in police custody facing trumped up charges and she lives in constant fear. This is her account of what happened.
After I wrote about how a crowd attacked me on May 18th, 2013, and how my husband was attacked on October 21st, I was attacked again on January 31. This time it was a small fight between me and a small Gurkha boy grazing goats in the field in front of my house that led to the attack. The attack was carried out by a group of DFYI workers (youth wing of CPM) from Kandamkolangara, Aandankoyil and Kunjumangalam.
The boy used to allow his goat to graze in front of my house and we always used to ask him not to do so. That day also I did the same and he threw a stone at me and again let the goats come into my house, where they destroyed all the plants that I was trying to grow. When he did this, I tied the goat and scolded him. Suddenly he took out a knife and started threatening me. At this point my husband who heard the noise came out and shouted at him. He then ran away.
Later we were told that he and a group of DYFI people reported to the police that my husband and I had attacked this boy and had tried to kill him. The group then came back to my house and started throwing stones at my house and breaking my auto rickshaw. Ayyappan sir, the Dalit activist who had always stood by my side from the very beginning, had come to my house then for a visit. He saw the crowd leaving my house when he came in. Then he called the police and the police came and they also took my written complaint about being attacked. The next day they even came to take evidence at my house. They then asked me to bring my auto to the station so that the motor vehicle inspector could look at it.
However, suddenly on the early morning of February 5th they came and arrested my husband Shreeshkanth. He was charged with many offenses like attempt to murder, housebreaking, attack on a minor etc. Many cases have been slapped on him. Now as far as I can make out, he has been arrested under the following sections – 308, 323 – 343, 354, 353. Today he was refused bail in Payannur. We will have to try again day after tomorrow for bail in Thalasserry court. At the same time, the boy whom we supposedly attacked is still grazing goats in front of my house and he is still allowing the goats to eat up all my plants. He is totally unhurt and able to earn his livelihood. Similarly all the people who attacked me are also walking free, doing various jobs. Only my husband is in jail and I am here without even able to get my auto back.
Actually till now all the attacks against me were well covered in the Malayalam media. This was a great help to me and this had helped me survive till now. However, this time very few of the media reported my case. People belonging to RMP (Revolutionary Marxist Party, whose leader, T P Chandrasekharan, was recently hacked to death by CPM) told me that the media has been instructed not to report my case. So, no one even knows about this case.
I also can see that they are attacking my husband more and more now, instead of directly attacking me. However, the police says that I too will be arrested in a few days on the same charges as my husband. They are trying to finish us off by sending us to prison like this. The media and other activists are also not coming forward to question this constant injustice that is being done to me.
I am now living in the constant fear of getting arrested.
Please read about earlier attacks on Chithralekha and her family: