CPI(M) ‘goons’ allegedly damage dalit female auto driver’s rickshaw
CPI(M) activists allegedly damaged Chitralekha’s brand new auto rickshaw last Friday. This is one of the many attempts by her fellow auto drivers to dissuade the 39-year-old dalit auto driver from Payyannur, Kerala, from plying the auto rickshaw.
She had made headlines in 2005 when CPM workers attacked her because she dared to ply an auto rickshaw for a living.
Chitralekha, for a long time now, has thwarted several attempts by ‘comrade’ drivers in the CITU affiliated auto rickshaw stand in Payyanur to discourage her from plying the auto. According to her, the attempts involved assaults and casteist slurs.
She alleged that the latest attack was also orchestrated by CPM workers. Miscreants damaged the entire upholstery of the auto rickshaw which was parked outside her ancestral house in Edat near Payyannur.
“I had fled my home in Payyannur to escape from these goons but I had to go there to complete the formalities of withdrawing some fake cases filed against me in Payyannur police station. When the goons came to know about it, they came to my home and completely damaged my auto rickshaw that I ply to earn a living,” Chitralekha told The Times of India.
She also claims that she is repeatedly targeted because she belongs to the dalit caste.
Kerala’s chief minister Oommen Chandy had earlier assured her immunity from the ‘fake’ cases registered against her by the CPI(M) workers in Payyannur.
Chitralekha had staged a 122-day-long sit-in before the Kannur collectorate last year, demanding protection from the CPM goons. The government had obliged and assured protection. It had also provided her with a new auto and a piece of land to build a house on.
Chitralekha presently lives in a rented house in Kattampally near the piece of land. She had visited her ancestral home in Edat to collect the documents in connection with the counter cases that the CPM workers had filed against her.
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