Widow gets justice after 15 years


The Kozhikode first class fast track court on Monday sentenced three people including CPM’s former branch secretary E C Balan and his wife Narayani who were Vinitha’s neighbours to four years rigorous imprisonment. The court also asked the accused to remit a fine of Rs 10,000 each. Even though the trio was charged with attempt to murder Vinitha and another person in 2004, the sensational case dates back to over a decade.

The widow had been waging a lonely battle against the open defiance of the rule of law by her neighbour Balan supported by the pro-CPM farmers’ organisation. The organisation, Kerala State Karshaka Thozhilali Union (KSKTU) allowed no worker to step into Vinitha’s 5-acre agricultural plot for close to 11 years thereby denying her her livelihood. This was because she had refused to take the services of Balan and his wife in her farm. Though the blockade ended in 2005 after the issue became an embarrassment for the CPM, she narrowly escaped from the jaws of death when a three-member gang attacked her in 2004.

Even though Vinitha’s story was splashed up by the media, it took the CPM several more years to persuade the local leaders of KSKTU to withdraw from the blockade as the organisation was so powerful in its pockets.

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