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August 13, 2019

Dalit activist held over Facebook post seeking innerwear for women at flood relief camps

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Thiruvalla, Aug 13: A social activist in Kerala landed in police custody for a Facebook post seeking contribution of undergarments for women at relief camps in flood-hit parts of the state.

Raghu Eraviperoor, a known Dalit rights activist, was arrested on the basis of a complaint by woman councillor of the Thiruvalla municipality of Pathanamthitta district in Kerala. He was later released on bail.

While Raghu maintained that there was no bad intention for the post, the councillor was said to have alleged in the complaint that the post was aimed at insulting women at the relief camps.

Raghu told a section of media that he along with his wife visited some relief camps in the area. One of his wife's friends said that there was a shortage of undergarment for women among the relief materials being received. Based on that he made the social media post with good intention.

Thiruvalla police said that a case by invoking section 119-A (performs, in public places, any sexual gestures or acts degrading the dignity of women) and 120-O (causing, through any means of communication, a nuisance of himself to any person by repeated or undesirable or anonymous call, letter, writing, message, e-mail or through a messenger) was registered against Raghu.

While the police action triggered widespread protest, a police official said that since the complaint was given by a woman elected representative they were bound to act.

Dalit activist held over Facebook post seeking innerwear for women at flood relief camps

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