The registration of a case of rape against Binoy Kodiyeri, son of Kerala State Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) Kodiyeri Balakrishnan by the Maharashtra police last week threatened to snowball into a major political controversy on Tuesday.
The news that the Oshiwara police had booked Mr. Binoy on the charge of having raped a 33-year-old woman from Meera Road in Mumbai appeared not to augur well for the public image of the ruling front, which had faced a shocking defeat and massive erosion of votes in the recent Lok Sabha election.
According to the First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Oshiwara police (FIR number 237/2019 dated June 13), the woman had accused Mr. Binoy of having cheated her into a long term conjugal relationship on the promise of marriage. She claimed she had an eight-year-old son from the affair, which commenced when she worked as a danseuse in a bar hotel in Dubai in 2009.
The complainant said Mr. Binoy courted her for years and paid for her maintenance when she shifted her residence to Mumbai. Their relationship soured after he stopped paying her stipend and house rent and repeatedly rebuffed her attempts to legalise their union.
Her discovery of Mr. Binoy's Facebook page, which showed him with his wife, children and parents, was the last straw, the woman said in her statement.
In the FIR, the police have accused Mr. Binoy of rape, cheating, dishonesty, inducing delivery of property, intentional insult, criminal intimidation under sections 376 (2), 420, 504 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code respectively.
The complainant said the relationship hit rough weather in 2018 when Mr. Binoy allegedly claimed his inability to provide her maintenance on the ground that his “real estate business” in Dubai had suffered huge and irrecoverable losses.
Mr. Binoy, who is in Dubai, has denied the allegations. He told television journalists over the phone that the woman, with whom he had a previous acquaintance, had attempted to blackmail him. He alleged that she had tried to extort Rs 5 crore from him. He had received several threatening calls from her and he had petitioned the Kannur police.
District Police Chief, Kannur, Prateesh Kumar, told The Hindu that he received the petition on Tuesday morning and had ordered an enquiry. So far, the Kannur police have registered no case based on Mr. Binoy’s complaint. Another official said the State police would seek legal opinion in the matter.
In 2018, the CPI(M) found itself in a spot after a Dubai-based businessman publicly accused Mr. Binoy of having swindled him of several crores of rupees. He had moved legally against Mr. Binoy in Dubai but later settled the case out of court. Mr. Balakrishnan had then said the private transactions of Mr. Binoy were not a party matter.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury told television reporters in New Delhi that he was not aware of any case or complaint against Mr. Binoy.