In a new development in the Muslim Students’ Federation’s women’s wing members’ harassment complaints against their peers, the state committee of Haritha has been dissolved.
Haritha is the women’s wing of the Indian Union Muslim League’s (IUML) student wing, the Muslim Students’ Federation. The committee has been disbanded on grounds of “grave indiscipline” by the senior leaders of IUML, which is an ally of the Indian National Congress.
The members of Haritha accused their peers in the political and students’ body of sexual harassment and complained of inaction against them by the senior leaders. Later, they spoke to the Kerala state women’s commission regarding their company against the colleagues as well as the negligence by the entities.
The leaders finally approached the state women’s commission to file their complaint on August 13, after the inaction by the senior leadership in IUML.
The allegation made by the three Haritha leaders is that their male peers — MSF state president P K Navas, district general secretary V A Wahab and Malappuram district president M Kabeer, made indecent remarks against them at an MSF meeting in June. The whole incident has been reported and making rounds in the IUML corridors for two months.
M. A. Salam, the state general secretary of IUML remarked that the party does not tolerate indiscipline of any kind and informed them about their decision to dissolve the state committee of Haritha.
“The party (IUML) has dissolved the state committee of Haritha. This is a grave issue of indiscipline. A committee that does not toe the line of the party can’t be allowed. A new committee of Haritha will be constituted by IUML,” he added.
The Indian Express reported the MSF National Vice-President Fathima Thahliya, who is also a Haritha leader, saying that they do not accept the party’s decision. “I am in touch with colleagues in the MSF and Haritha to come out with a clear stand, which will be made public in the coming days. We can’t accept the decision,” she said.
After resistance and protests that were set off by the party’s decision, the IUML decided to neutralize the situation by asking the MSF leaders to “express their regret” on social media and undo the suspension of Haritha’s state committee.
After the decision by the party, MSF state president P K Navas posted on Facebook. “I have informed the party leaders that I was willing to accept any action on the issue. At the MSF meeting, I didn’t make any malicious comments. If anyone has misunderstood me or has faced any pain over my talk in the meeting, I express my regret,” he said.
The “regret” expressed by the MSF leader was not accepted by the Haritha leaders, as they stood firm on their demand for strict action against the accused.