After being held captive for over one and a half years by her family for dating a Muslim man, Thrissur native Anjali Prakash finally has hopes of getting justice.
The Chavakkad district magistrate court has directed the Guruvayur police to file a case based on her complaint. Anjali’s complaint mentions her mother, her maternal kin and a few VHP and RSS workers as those responsible for her abduction and brutal torture.
The court has ordered the Guruvayur police to book the accused (14 persons) under sections pertaining to sexual abuse, harassment, kidnap, attempt to commit culpable homicide, promoting enmity between different religious groups amongst others.
Anjali was in a relationship with a family friend, a Muslim man, whom she had known for ten years. According to her, the man had helped the family out after her father passed away eight years ago. The duo were planning to get married. However, Anjali’s mother opposed the alliance.
On August 17, 2016, Anjali was allegedly abducted by her mother Vineetha, who is the main accused, two maternal uncles and a maternal aunt. They sought the help of groups such as the RSS and VHP and illegally confined her for over two years, alleges Anjali.
The complaint filed by Anjali names her mother Vineetha as the prime accused, her uncles Narothaman and Venugopal and her aunt as the other accused.
It also mentions doctor N Dinesh, a doctor at the Amritha Institute of Medical Sciences as the fifth accused. The nine other accused allegedly belong to groups such as the RSS and VHP.
According to her complaint, “On that night (August 17, 2016) 1st accused mother, 2nd and 3rd accused maternal uncles and 4th accused maternal aunt brutally assaulted the complainant for more than two hours and said that they will not allow her to marry a Muslim,” the complaint filed by Anjali reads.
It further states that one of her uncles stuffed a cloth inside her mouth while the other uncle strangulated her with his hands, held a knife to her neck and threatened to kill her. They also hit her until she collapsed and later took her to Unity hospital in Kayamkulam for a day.
The next day, they took her to Aswini hospital in Thrissur and admitted her to the ICU. She was there for two or three days, where she tried to tell her doctor and others about the torture meted out to her, the complaint reads.
Meanwhile, Anjali’s maternal uncles allegedly brought on board VHP activists they knew.
In her complaint, Anjali states that she was administered several psychotropic substances and that she soon found herself in the psychiatric ward of Amritha Institute of Medical Science at Edapally in Ernakulam.
The complaint also states that psychiatrist N Dinesh, who is 5th accused, administered high doses of psychedelic drugs and electric shocks to similar ‘patients’ who were in relationships with men from other religions. For 45 days, the doctor administered heavy drugs leading to Anjali losing her ability to walk freely.
Anjali has further alleged that she was shifted to several places, mostly BJP workers’ houses. She was moved to Kaloor in Kollam, then Thrissur and finally to Mangaluru, where she was put in houses owned by VHP persons.
“She has no memory of how she got from one place to another, whether it is from Thrissur to Ernakulam or even Mangaluru. She was that drugged. She said that they used to give her 10 tablets a day and several injections to make her unconscious,” said a source close to Anjali.
The complaint also says that the 13th and 14th accused (both BJP workers) attempted to rape her several times.
Anjali was finally taken to Mangaluru where she was kept in illegal confinement for over one and a half years. It was during this period that she managed to make a Facebook video and get it across to her family. Her boyfriend too helped her in this endeavour.
Following this, Mangaluru City Women police launched an operation and rescued Anjali on May 1, 2018. She was produced before the court and kept in a government shelter for 22 days until her maternal aunt and uncle took her to to their home.
“She now stays with her maternal aunt and uncle, Reghunandan and Jayanthi, and is on the road to recovery,” said the source.
On May 28, Anjali met the Kerala DGP and gave a complaint requesting a CB-CID probe into the case. Her complaint was declined stating that the incident happened in Mangaluru. She even met Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan regarding the matter. However, there was no response from the chief minister’s office as well. Following standard procedure, she filed a complaint with the Station House Officer of the Guruvayur police station who also refused to accept the complaint.
Though the court has ordered the Guruvayur police to probe the incidents in Kerala, a parallel case is also going on in Mangaluru.
“We were told that the Mangaluru police will transfer the case to the Guruvayur station. However, there is no update on that,” the source added.