KASARGODE: Two people, including a CPM branch secretary were arrested by Adhur police for allegedly posting aspersions about a woman panchayat member on WhatsApp and spreading false rumors with sexual undertones.
The arrested have been identified as Muhammed Ali (42), CPM Mallam branch secretary and Siddique (30) of Chalkara. The two had allegedly posted slanderous messages against Aneesa Mansoor Mallath, a member of Muliyar gram
panchayat council from Mallam, according to a police complaint. Aneesa, a member of Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), had initially approached the district police chief with the complaint.
An investigation by the Cyber Cell found that several messages accusing her of 'sleeping her way to the top' were posted on WhatsApp groups named 'Voice of Bovikkanam' and 'Namude Mallam'. Initially, the messages were posted from Mallam, but when she confronted them, similar messages pouring in from Gulf countries.
"Initially, I tried to ignore them. But I was affected by the relentlessness of the attacks," she said. "I was not able to face people and became reluctant to attend panchayat sessions," she added. It is then that she and her husband Mansoor Mallath approached the police.
Police charged Ali and Siddique for making remarks with a sexual undertone [under IPC 354 (A) iv] and causing a nuisance by repeated or undesirable actions through a messenger. Both the charges are registered cognisable offences and if convicted, are punishable with up to one year in jail, fine, or both.
"We are very disappointed with the police for limiting the charges to the two cognizable offences. There was nothing political in the messages. They were malicious and should have attracted more serious sections and definitely the IT Act," said Mansoor Mallath, vice-president of Kasargod unit of the Indian Union Youth League.
The two accused have been granted bail.