KANNUR:”Finally, I want to say only one thing. If you have not been satisfied by hunting us down till now, we, including our children, would come to Caltex junction holding our heads high. Finish us off with a single chop.” This is the concluding part from a heart-rending Facebook post of media person Vineetha Venu, who and her husband Sumesh, a civil police officer, have allegedly been harassed and threatened by the CPM and its cyber warriors for more than three years.
In the post, she described in detail about the latest incident. According to it, last Wednesday, Sumesh was on his way to visit his friend at Cheengakundam near Iritty. The friend is a military man and is posted in the Northeast India. As per the friend’s request to visit his parents. Sumesh, who works at Chombala police station, decided to visit them after his duty hours. On his way, he received a phone call and stopped his bike and got down from it. As he walked a few steps forward speaking with the friend, some people came and stopped him. That was the beginning. Though Sumesh tried to convince them about the purpose of his visit, they didn’t believe him and started harassing him. It was only when the police patrolling team from Iritty station reached the spot that they let him go.
At the police station, Sumesh gave his statement on the incident. Since nothing serious had taken place, Sumesh didn’t file any complaint against those were allegedly moral policing.
“What happened was a clean act of moral policing,” said Vineetha. But, things have taken an ugly turn from the next day as cyber soldiers of CPM started maligning Sumesh by spreading the videos of the moral policing incident through WhatsApp groups and FB.
To make matters worse, a baseless report appeared in the party mouthpiece, in which it was said that an investigation had been launched against a police officer who was caught by local residents in suspicious circumstances, she said.
The cyber bullying is part of a political vendetta, says Vineetha. “Everything started when I gave some reports against the party in connection with the murder of Youth Congress worker Shuhaib. My husband is a pro-UDF police association member and both of us have been harassed by the CPM for taking a stand against the party in connection with the Shuhaib murder.”
In the WhatsApp groups of police officers, Sumesh was being threatened, warning him that his limbs would be chopped off. Vineetha was stalked at many places and feared that their children would be attacked. “It was tough to survive those harrowing days,” she said.
When she lodged a complaint, it was investigated by the Crime Branch. The investigation was a farce as the officer in charge of investigation had acted rudely with her without even giving her the consideration of being a woman, she alleged. After she complained about it, the investigating officer explained that it was only a joke. “What kind of a joke it was?” she asked.
Sumesh was transferred seven times in the last three years. When Vineetha had reported about the leak of data from the Covid app of police on the TV news channel in which she was working, Akash Thillankeri, an accused in the Shuhaib murder case, campaigned that the news was leaked to her by her husband, she said. “I was not the first reporter to air that news,” she said. “My husband was transferred to Palakkad during the lockdown period due to this incident. Following continuous attack from the CPM and its cyber teams, I had to resign from my job as I was not able to cope up with the situation.”
“The mental trauma, we have been undergoing is beyond words,” said Vineetha. “Through this post, we don’t seek anybody’s support. Though I had tried to write about it many times before, I couldn’t do it out of fear. Many people would think this is silly, but I want to remind such people that if it is me today, it could be themtomorrow,” she said.
As Vineetha Venu’s Facebook post went viral, the CPM Iritty area committee denied the role of party members in the incident. “The FB post of the wife of the police officer was not based on facts and purely emotional. She says that CPM has been hunting them down unnecessarily. The local people and a few persons who were at the spot during the incident know what had taken place. The party refutes all allegations raised by the media person as they are baseless. Everybody knows about the politics of the CPM and the tactics he (the said officer) had used during the last LDF government’s term. The support of the people is the strength of CPM and the party will face these allegations also with the support of the people,” a statement issued by the area committee said.