Amidst a heated political row in the state over a plea filed by her in the Kerala High Court, the survivor of the 2017 sexual assault met Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at his office on Thursday and shared her concerns over the fate of the case with him, who in turn assured all support to ensure her justice.
Emerging from the 15-minute-long meeting at the CM’s chamber at the Secretariat Complex here, the victim actress told reporters that she was “completely satisfied” with the “positive response” from Vijayan.
It is for the first time after five years that the actress addressed the media and opened up on the case.
According to a statement from the CM’s office, the survivor flagged concerns regarding the probe and the Chief Minister explained to her the steps taken by his government so far in the case.
“The government has always stood by the survivor. That support will continue further,” it said adding that in such cases action would bsurve taken against the guilty irrespective of their high profile.
The CMO also said the survivor informed during the meeting that she approached the court recently citing concerns of alleged political interference in the probe, not because of any lapses from the side of the government but to get more time for investigation and anticipating favourable order from the judiciary in certain matters.
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She also thanked the government and the CM for extending all support.
After her meeting, Vijayan called the DGP and ADGP (crime branch) to his chamber and gave necessary instructions regarding the issues raised by the survivor and to further strengthen the ongoing probe, it added.
Later, the survivor said the Chief Minister assured her that he would be with her in the case.
“Thanks a lot for that. I fully trust his words. I am very happy about the assurance given me by the Chief Minister. He has assured all support of the government in the investigation of the case,” she said.
Accompanied by dubbing artist Bhagyalakshmi, the survivor also reportedly submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister listing certain demands.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, V D Satheesan said the victim is like a daughter to the Congress party and the party-led UDF, which has always stood by her during her fight for justice.
“Our demand was to probe the circumstances which forced the survivor to approach the High Court with a complaint. She had raised before the court a serious charge that some prominent figures in the ruling front were trying to sabotage the case. The leaders like Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and E P Jayarajan had insulted the survivor saying she had filed the case during the time of Thrikkakara bypoll,” he said.
The leader also said the UDF has never used the issue for political gains.
The issue had triggered a war of words between leaders of the ruling LDF and the Opposition Congress, particularly in the midst of the campaign for bypoll being held in Thrikkakara assembly constituency in Ernakulam district.
The survivor’s meeting with Vijayan has come in the wake of a plea moved by her in the Kerala High Court alleging political interference by the ruling LDF government and that there was a move to derail the probe in the case in which actor Dileep is also an accused.
The state government had informed the Court that the victim’s fears regarding the investigation and trial in the matter were unfounded as the government’s stand from the start has been to ensure she gets justice.
The submission was made by the prosecution before Justice Ziyad Rahman A A during the hearing of the plea moved by the victim.
(With Agency inputs)