Kerala women workers on fast against Mani forcefully removed by police

IANS Feeds
Kerala women workers on fast against Mani forcefully removed by police

Munnar (Kerala), April 29 (IANS) Two women plantation workers on an indefinite fast demanding an apology and the resignation of State Power Minister M.M. Mani for his disparaging remarks against them were on Saturday forcefully taken by police to the hospital after their health deteriorated.

Though they have been on a protest since last Sunday, they went on an indefinite fast two day ago and have been subjected to frequent medical checkups since then. On Saturday, the police decided to remove them to the hospital.

The two women are leaders of the ‘Pembulai Orumayi’ (Women’s Collective) and have got support from the Congress-led UDF and the BJP, whose top leaders came and expressed solidarity for the protest.

After the two women were taken to hospital, their replacements have decided to continue the protest and are determined that they will not call it off till their demands are met.

Senior Congress leader Lathika Subhash, who has been in Munnar since the protest began, said there were more policemen than women who had come to take them away.

“These women have been here for almost a week and till today not a single government official came to meet them. They were on protest to protect the modesty of women and came under attack from the goons of the CPI-M. Now the police also has treated them shabbily. We will remain with them till their demands are met,” said Subhash.

The police took the two women to a hospital 30 km from the protest site, though there were hospitals in the town itself.

While the CPI-M has ruled the resignation of Mani, they have publicly censured him for frequently courting controversy with his ‘loose tongue’. The Kerala opposition has disrupted two days of sitting in the assembly. With the session to resume on Tuesday, it remains to be seen if there is going to be change in strategy on the floor of the House.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.