Kottayam | Kerala police on Saturday registered a forgery and impersonation case against a woman who recently claimed to have lost her job after praising former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
Allegations levelled by P O Sathi Amma, a native of bypoll-bound Puthuppally, triggered a political row early this week as opposition Congress used her removal from the temporary job as a campaign tool against the ruling CPI(M) in the constituency.
According to police, Sathi Amma, a member of the women empowerment network Kudumbashree, gained her job of temporary sweeper at a state-run veterinary centre, through forgery.
"She was booked under various sections of IPC including 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document)," a police officer told PTI.
The cases were registered based on a complaint filed by Lijimol, a former office-bearer of the women network, they said.
As per the complaint lodged with the district police chief, she alleged that the 52-year old Sathi Amma was working in her name by forging documents.
The woman, in the complaint, also accused some present office-bearers of the network of providing assistance to the accused for the alleged forgery and impersonation.
She also said that though she was a former office-bearer of the all-woman network, she had neither applied for the job at the veterinary centre in the last few years nor received any salary.
Meanwhile, Sathi Amma said she was not afraid of the case and she would face it legally.
"I have not done anything wrong...I discharged my duties with all sincerity," she told reporters here.
Rejecting the charges levelled by the complainant, she also said she was recruited by the Kudumbashree and she was given the salary through the network's account.
Sathi Amma said she has the support of all the Congress workers and
leaders in fighting the case.
Some office-bearers of the local Kudumbashree unit, which recruited Sathi Amma for the job, were also booked under various sections of IPC, police sources said.
As the much-awaited Puthuppally bypoll is just days away, the removal of the woman sweeper from the state-run veterinary centre in the constituency here triggered a controversy.
When the opposition Congress came out in support of the woman, who claimed that she lost her job because she had praised former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in a television programme, the CPI(M)-led LDF government denied the charges, saying there was no politics behind her removal.
Sathi Amma, who had been working as a temporary sweeper for some time at the veterinary centre, said that a reporter of a TV channel had recently taken a soundbite from her for its programme, in which she spoke about the support and assistance that her family had received from Chandy during their time of distress.
The woman also said during the programme that Chandy Oommen, the son of the late Congress stalwart, would win the Puthuppally bypoll.
Animal Husbandry Department sources had said that the woman was recruited through the all-women network Kudumbashree and was removed as her tenure ended.
Animal Husbandry Minister J Chinchu Rani also dismissed allegations of political interference in the removal of Sathi Amma from the temporary job and gave an elaborate explanation claiming that the lady had impersonated another person to get the job.