As MV Govindan links Congress’ K Sudhakaran to Monson Mavunkal, CPI(M) mouthpiece under scanner

Govindan repeated allegation published in "Deshabhamini", prompting the Crime Branch of the police to clarify that it was fake news.

ByK A Shaji

Published Jun 18, 2023 | 8:58 PMUpdatedJun 18, 2023 | 10:23 PM


Kerala’s ruling CPI(M) has been waging an aggressive war against journalists and media organisations in the state.

It has been accusing them of spreading fake and unsubstantiated news that targets its leaders and alliance partners.

On Sunday, 18 June, however, the party found itself on a sticky wicket when its state secretary MV Govindan quoted its Malayalam mouthpiece Deshabhimani — the fourth largest among the print media in Kerala — to accuse KPCC president K Sudhakaran of being present at the house of conman Monson Mavunkal while the self-styled controversial antique dealer was raping a minor.

M V Govindan

M V Govindan

On Sunday morning, Govindan told reporters that the Crime Branch had said the victim gave such a statement, and that the agency would likely call the Congress MP from Kannur for questioning in the case.

On being repeatedly asked which publication had reported the news, the CPI(M) state secretary said it was Deshabhimani, the CPI(M)’s official mouthpiece.

Within hours, the Crime Branch of the Kerala Police issued a hurried statement denying the claim that Sudhakaran was present while Mavunkal was raping the girl — the daughter of an office staff of the conman.

On Saturday, a POCSO court in Kochi sentenced Mavunkal to imprisonment till the end of his natural life after finding him guilty in the case brought by the Crime Branch. It said the convict did not deserve any leniency.

Crime Branch sources contacted by the South First confirmed that Deshabhimani had not consulted it before carrying the allegation against Sudhakaran, and the front-page news item held no truth.

Related: Monson Mavunkal sentenced to life for raping minor

Deshabhamini and the allegations

On Sunday, Deshabhimani carried the adverse reference against Sudhakaran as a separate item on the front page, along with the main news of the POCSO court awarding a life term for Mavunkal.

“Going by the statement given by the survivor to the officials who investigated the case, KPCC president K Sudhakaran was present when Monson sexually abused the minor girl,” said the news item titled “K Sudhakaran was also there at home”.

“The statement also shows that Sudhakaran lent no helping hand even after he was aware of what was being happened inside the house,” it added.

“Sudhakaran is now arraigned as the second accused in the cheating case in which Monson is the prime accused. The Crime Branch has decided to question Sudhakaran in the POCSO case,” said the article.

When Sudhakaran came out with a statement asking how Deshabhimani and Govindan accessed a secret statement, said to have been given by the survivor to the trial court, Govindan turned defensive and said he received the information by reading Deshabhimani.

Terming it a false allegation levelled out of political vendetta, Sudhakaran said the CPI(M) had undertaken a criminal conspiracy to finish his political career.

“Govindan is talking as if he were with me at Mavunkal’s house. I will initiate legal proceedings against all those involved in the conspiracy,” said Sudhakaran.

He said the CPI(M) and its propaganda machinery were on a witch hunt against him, and no ordinary people could access confidential statements in a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act case.

Now, it seems that Desabhimani had carried unverified news targeting a political rival when the CPI(M) was undertaking a rigorous campaign targeting the mainstream news outlets over their allegedly eroding credibility.

Also read: MV Govindan appointed CPI(M) state secretary

Clearing the air

Now the Crime Branch has made it clear that there was no move to grill Sudhakaran in any POCSO case, and the only case in which a summons was issued to him was the cheating case filed by a set of people from Kannur.

The Crime Branch said these people accused Sudhakaran of being the middleman in a cash transaction with Mavunkal and accepting a commission worth ₹10 lakh.


K Sudhakaran is flanked by UDF convener M M Hassan, Opposition Leader V D Satheesan and AICC general secretary K C Venugopal at a KPCC meeting.

“No such statement has been given (by the victim) mentioning the presence of Sudhakaran,” a senior Crime Branch official told South First.

Sudhakaran said even the cheating case was bogus, and repeated that he never knew the people who filed the complaint against him.

He accused the complainants of being CPI(M) cadres who conspired with the leadership to defame him.

Responding to Govindan’s statements, Sudhakaran said it was a “political move” and condemned “the levels to which CPI(M) would stoop”.

“It is a political move. I have no involvement in the case. The CPI(M) state secretary’s statement indicates that CPI(M) will stoop to any level. Does he have any shame?” the KPCC chief asked.

He further said he would take appropriate legal action against Govindan for defaming him.

“I have spoken to my lawyer. Will take the possible legal action. There is no doubt about that,” he told reporters.

Sudhakaran also asked how Govindan was privy to the statement made by the victim before a magistrate under section 164 of the CrPC as it is confidential.


Conman Monson Mavunkal. (Supplied)

“Moreover, the lawyer who fought the POCSO case told reporters that the victim has not made any such statement. So whom will you believe?” he asked.

The KPCC chief further said that till now, he was unsuccessfully trying to find out who was behind the accusations connecting him to the cheating case in which Mavunkal was an accused.

“Today, I am convinced the CPI(M) is behind it all. If they can show evidence indicating my involvement in these cases, I will give up my public life,” he said.

Govindan, meanwhile, claimed that neither the Left party nor the state government had any role in the case against Sudhakaran, and that they had no intention of implicating anyone in criminal cases.

“However, if someone is involved in a crime, action will be taken against them without exception,” he said.

Also read: Kerala court awards life term to 2 who raped, killed Latvian

The cheating case


Sudhakaran and Mavunkal with their freinds. (Supplied)

In the cheating case, Kerala High Court gave interim protection for Sudhakaran from arrest till June 21 on an anticipatory bail plea he moved.

When the allegations cropped up against him two years ago, Sudhakaran denied them.

The issue snowballed into a political controversy as images of Mavunkal and Sudhakaran emerged.

Sudhakaran said he had gone to Mavunkal’s residence for treatment, as the latter claimed to be a trained cosmetologist.

Mavunkal allegedly made false representations about himself and his business to various people and collected money from them.

Many images of Mavunkal with senior police officers and bureaucrats of the state have since surfaced.

Cherthala native Mavunkal, who claimed to have rare and historic antiques, was arrested by the Crime Branch in September 2021. Among other things, he is facing charges of having defrauded ₹10 crore from several people.

Related: K Sudhakaran seeks anticipatory bail in financial fraud case

Govindan levels other allegations

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Govindan claimed that Kerala was a hub of anti-Left media that creates pro-Right-wing ideas, unlike anywhere else.

While clarifying his recent controversial comment on a woman journalist of the Asianet news channel, who had been booked in a conspiracy-cum-defamation case, he said the police action was in response to a complaint of forging a fake exam result of SFI’s state secretary PM Arsho.

In an interaction with the reporters, Govindan claimed his remarks were misinterpreted and that he did not say that the media would face legal action for reporting against the Left government in the state or the SFI, the student wing of the CPI(M).


Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Photo By K B Jayachandran

“I said that a case would be registered against anyone involved in such conspiracies to create news. The law is equally applicable to everyone, even journalists. There is no bar on reporting, but in the instant case, it was not reporting,” he said.

The CPI(M) state secretary said news outlets in Kerala were responsible for attributing a wrong statement to him and spreading it.

“This happens nowhere else in the world. Only in Kerala do you see such anti-Communist stand and most of the media’s creation of pro-Right-wing ideas. The majority of the media are against us. Let me say it again. Kerala is the centre for media which is anti-Left and creates pro-right wing ideas,” Govindan alleged.

He went on to claim that a conspiracy against Arsho was hatched as per a script, and it should be investigated and action taken against those who were allegedly involved in it.

On 11 June, Govindan told reporters: “If an anti-government or anti-SFI campaign is run in the name of press reporting, it will be included in the case. It has been done in the past, and will happen again. Let there be no doubt about it.

He added: “Everyone who was part of the conspiracy (in Arsho’s case) will be brought before the law.”

Related: Intolerant of criticism, ‘cyber comrades’ target Kerala journalists

The Arsho incident

The police registered a case under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, such as Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 465 (forgery) and 500 (defamation), on 9 June against five persons, including the journalist.


P M Arsho

This came after a controversy erupted on 6 June after Kerala Students Union levelled an allegation showing a mark list in which Arsho, a student of Maharaja’s College in Ernakulam, had “passed” even though he did not attend any exam.

Later, the college clarified that his name was seen among another batch’s results and it was a technical error.

“A fake result was published in March 2023 in which the complainant has cleared an exam, which he did not even register for, and the same was circulated through social media on June 6 to tarnish the image of the complainant and the SFI,” the FIR read.

Arsho alleged that there was a conspiracy behind the incident.

Related: CPI(M) calls allegations against Arsho a conspiracy against SFI

(With PTI inputs)