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KOLLAM: In a state that boasts of and runs campaigns on the safety of women and children, a woman and her two children from Kollam had to travel in a train during night time as they felt insecure in their own home. 

38-year-old Manju, with her 17-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son, travelled from Kollam to Ernakulam and back spending a night in the safety of the train as back at their tsunami rehabilitation flat at Eravipuram, they were being teased by anti-social elements while the police had allegedly turned a blind eye to their situation despite filing a complaint.

It all started after Manju questioned a gang in their colony set up by the government to rehabilitate the tsunami victims. The gang spread a video insulting Manju’s daughter. Manju’s protest and response to the act provoked the gang and the latter started unleashing attacks on the family by trying to barge into their house, hurling verbal abuses on them and switching off the power connection to their house, to say a few of them.

According to Manju, the incident was reported to the police but the cops were apathetic to address the issue properly. Manju was estranged from her husband and is bringing up the children on her own. “My younger son had to discontinue his Class 10 studies as he could not afford to buy a smartphone for his online classes. My daughter, who has completed Plus Two with flying colours, is now mentally distressed over the incidents happening in our lives,” said Manju.

On Sunday, a few people scared the family by knocking on the door of their house. They continued harassing the family even after the police intervened following Manju informing the police control room. As the family didn’t have courage to go home that day even after spending their time in the park till afternoon, they boarded a train from Kollam to Ernakulam to spend the night.

Meanwhile, the police said, based on Manju’s complaint, they arrested three persons two weeks ago. Among the three culprits, two have been released on bail and the third person is in judicial custody as he has been arrested under Pocso charges. “The police intervened whenever they called for help. We are probing the case in detail.

Other residents in the colony had recently given a joint petition against Manju and her family alleging that they were creating unwanted issues by spreading a lie,” said Eravipuram SI Arun Sha. The family has now shifted from the colony to a relative’s place, he said. The State Women’s Commission member, Shahida Kamal, will be visiting the victim’s house on Friday to learn about the facts in the case.
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