Sexual abuse cases rock Kerala temple

Sexual abuse cases rock Kerala temple

Kerala’s Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, estimated to be home for assets worth Rs 1 lakh crore, has been found to be marred with “frequent instances of sexual harassment” within its premises by the Supreme Court appointed amicus curiae, who also discovered systematic pilferage from its treasure trove.

In his final report, senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam pointed out that during visits, he noted unaccounted invaluable items stored in different rooms, besides gold plating and sheeting machines.

However, he was bothered with “an issue which cropped up with alarming frequency, instances of sexual harassment within the temple premises.”

“A woman was appointed for stitching clothes for the main deity. She was later appointed as computer operator on daily wages. One guard commander called Krishnan Kutty Kurup had attempted to sexually harass her,” Subramaniam wrote.

“She was treated insensitively and there was total inaction on the part of the administrative officer. Because she raised the issue, she was dismissed from service, following which she filed an FIR,” he said in his 500-page report.

“The amicus curiae believes that all women employees must be safe from any act of sexual harassment. Apart from that woman, another person brought to the attention of the amicus curiae that there is sexual harassment. The deputy commissioner of police also said there are frequent allegations of molestations,” the report submitted to the apex court said.

The counsel suggested setting up a three-member committee consisting of Lakshmi bayi–a member of the Travancore royal family which controls the temple trust–along with Prof Sashibhooshan and a woman lawyer to look into any allegations of sexual harassment. In the first case, the executive officer offered to reinstate her to the post that she held at the time of her dismissal upon the request made by the amicus curiae, the report stated.
DH News Service

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