Congress MLA M. Vincent arrested for rape in Kerala


IANS

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Before the arrest, the Kovalam MLA, a first-time legislator, was grilled for over two hours by a police team.

Congress MLA M. Vincent was arrested by Kerala Police on July 22, 2017, a day after being charged with sexual harassment and stalking of a 51-year-old woman who attempted suicide earlier this week.

Before the arrest, Mr. Vincent, a first-time legislator, was grilled for over two hours by a police team. He was later taken for further interrogation.

The police team arrived at the legislator’s hostel in Thiruvananthapuram at around 12.30 p.m. and left after more than two hours of questioning. He later was moved to an undisclosed location for further interrogation and then arrested.

Mr. Vincent has moved for anticipatory bail from a court in Thiruvananthapuram.

The police team will now meet Kollam Superintendent of Police S. Ajeetha Begum, who heads the probe team.

The woman’s husband had filed a complaint with the local police station near Thiruvananthapuram accusing the legislator of threatening and harassing his wife over phone.

Mr. Vincent, who represents Kovalam Assembly constituency near Thiruvananthapuram, said he has done no wrong and claimed he was a victim of political conspiracy.

The case surfaced after the woman attempted suicide by consuming excessive dose of sleeping pills on July 19, 2017. She was rushed to a hospital in the city suburbs and was saved.

The police has taken the statement of the woman.

The woman told the media on July 22, 2017 that she has been facing severe mental harassment from the legislator and he has misbehaved with her on two different occasions.

Senior women leaders in the Congress party M. Bindu Krishna and Shanimol Usman have asked Mr. Vincent to step down as legislator and face the probe.

Meanwhile, angry youth activists of the CPI(M) took to the streets in the State capital and burnt an effigy of the legislator.

Thiruvananthapuram district CPI(M) secretary Anavoor Nagappan told the media that Mr. Vincent should quit in the wake of the serious charges against him.

Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said the legislator has told the party that he is innocent and is ready to face any probe.

“Now a free and fair probe is required, and no politics should creep into the probe,” said Mr. Chennithala.

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