THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The CPM was left scrambling for cover after one of its prominent local leaders was arrested and sent to remand by the Margao police for sexually assaulting a woman in Goa on Monday. Vinod Kumar, touted to be a confidante of several key party leaders, including Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran and the secretary of the party’s Mangalapuram area committee, was arrested on charges of outraging the modesty of a woman on the basis of a complaint filed by a woman hailing from Thiruvananthapuram, who had travelled with him to Goa for securing a Portuguese passport. She wanted to travel to Europe without any hassle and was planning to find a job in Portugal, said Margao police sources.
As per the Margao police, Vinod knew the victim for sometime and had brought her to Goa to obtain a fake Portuguese passport to enable her travel to Europe. On Monday morning, Vinod summoned the 37-year-old woman to his room, caught hold of her forcefully and tried to disrobe her. The woman alleged Vinod threatened to kill her if she disclosed the incident to anybody. As per police sources, the two were staying in separate rooms, but Vinod, who was earlier the party’s councillor in Thiruvananthapuram Corporation, barged into the woman’s room and tried to harass her.
Later, talking to media, the woman said when she was about to file the complaint Vinod tried to dissuade her saying he has got good links with party leaders, including Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran. She also alleged the disgraced local leader had also demanded `5 lakh to get her the passport and a job in Europe. When the news of the arrest spread, the CPM district committee on Wednesday removed the accused from the post of area secretary.
He has also been suspended from the party’s primary membership.
CPM district secretary Anavoor Nagappan reckoned the allegations were grievous in nature and the party has zero tolerance towards such issues. Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said the party has taken cognizance of the news. “Party has taken note of the incident. Vinod has been suspended pending an inquiry. The district secretary should be the person who should comment on the issue,” he said.