Radhakrishnan, who is also the secretary of the influential Thiruvananthapuram Press Club, is out on bail now.

A Malayalam daily based in Kerala has terminated the service of an employee who faces charges of trespassing into a house, rioting and assaulting a woman journalist with the intent to outrage her modesty. The accused, M Radhakrishnan, is also the secretary of the influential Thiruvananthapuram Press Club.

Kerala Kaumudi, one of the oldest vernacular newspapers in the country, announced the sacking of Radhakrishnan, who worked as a proof-reader with the newspaper’s Thiruvananthapuram unit. He is now out on bail in connection with the December 2019 case in which he is accused of barging into a female colleague’s house, enforcing ‘moral policing’ and also assaulting her.

After conducting an internal inquiry into the matter, the newspaper stated, “The acts committed by you (Radhakrishnan) are very serious and grave. There is no justification for entering into the residential house of a female employee during night making allegation of illicit relations that too with another employee of the company…the disciplinary authority do not find any reasons to take a lenient view in a remote chance that the entire issue happened outside the premises of the company since the issue is having direct impact on the moral and discipline of the company.”

On the night of November 30, 2019, according to the victim’s complaint, Radhakrishnan gathered a few men and barged into her house, enquiring about a man who had just visited her.

Though the woman journalist explained that the man was a family friend, Radhakrishnan allegedly accused her of indulging in ‘immoral activity’. The woman’s young children were also present at home at the time.

Radhakrishnan’s men are also accused of dragging the victim’s male friend and assaulting him. In the scuffle that followed, the accused also allegedly shoved and pushed the victim. At the time of the incident, the victim’s husband, also a journalist, was working late.

Following the incident, Radhakrishnan was arrested and charged under sections 143, 147, 451, 323, 342,354 and 149 of the IPC. He was also suspended by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), the foremost journalists’ body in the state.

But earlier this year, while he was still out on bail, Radhakrishnan returned to the post of secretary of the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club claiming to have a court order in his favour.

The All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), affiliated to the CPI(M), has questioned the morality of retaining a man as the secretary of an influential body who is accused of assaulting a woman.

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