Kozhikode (Ker): The former leaders of Haritha, the women's wing of the Indian Union Muslim League's students' outfit MSF, came down heavily on the party leadership on Wednesday for neglecting their genuine concerns expressed in their complaint against a few male colleagues and alleged that they were being subjected to cyber attacks and 'verbal rape' over the issue.
Addressing a press conference, Haritha-Muslim Students Federation former president Mufeeda Thasni and former general secretary Najma Thabsheera said that despite all senior IUML leaders being briefed on the matter, the leadership wanted them to brush the complaint under the carpet.
They also accused the party state general secretary- in charge P M A Salam of voicing false facts about the issue.
Unlike his claims, the party had convened only two meetings to discuss the matter, but without reaching a logical conclusion on both occasions, the women leaders alleged "Our approach to the Kerala State Women's Commission was seen as a crime by the IUML leadership....We are being subjected to constant cyber attacks, character assassination and verbal rape over the issue," Thabsheera alleged.
The IUML had recently dissolved the state committee of Haritha after it rejected the party leadership's demand to withdraw the complaint a group of its members filed with the KSWC, seeking action against some male leaders of MSF, who allegedly used derogatory remarks against them.
Ten of the Haritha-MSF leadership team had approached the state's Women Rights Commission with a complaint against MSF state president P K Navas and a few others, alleging derogatory remarks and use of abusive language during a state committee of their union on June 24.
As forwarded by the SWC, the police had questioned Navas and recorded his arrest. He was released on bail recently.
The efforts by the party leadership to make the petitioners withdraw their complaint with SWC failed after the Haritha leadership firmly stuck to their stance of action against the guilty.
"We are passing through trauma and mental agony. We are speaking the truth, risking our lives, to convince our well-wishers. We are afraid as we receive threats even now," they said.
Refuting the charges of approaching the women's commission in haste, the former Haritha leaders said they met the leaders in person to brief them about the issue and submitted a five-page written complaint to the IUML top brass three days after the incident.
But with two meetings failing to redress concerns, Haritha petitioned the SWC on August 12, fifty days after the incident, they pointed out.
Accusing P M A Salam of passing humiliating remarks, they said the senior party man had said Haritha leaders were in the city to roam around and that a cyber goon was behind them.
"We are accused of having a hidden agenda behind this petition and are being forced by some quarters. Salam is the official spokesperson of the party and what he is doing now is nothing but cruelty" they said.
Stating that it was painful to be painted as sinners, they said this was not an issue of two or three women.
"The attitude of the leadership should change. It is unfair to tarnish the image of those who voice their opinion", the leaders added.