Five days after rape charges were filed against him based on a complaint by a woman, opposition Congress MLA Eldhose Kunnappilly remained untraceable and incommunicado, according to police.
The second-term legislator from Perumbavoor in Ernakulam district is accused of rape by a private school teacher.
Kerala Police have registered a rape case against the MLA following the complaint.
The woman had charged that Kunnappilly had taken her to several places and physically abused her and promised to marry her. The MLA is already married and settled in Perumbavur.
Kunnappilly in a social media post immediately after he absconded said that he was innocent and that he was being framed. The MLA has already moved for anticipatory bail and the case is coming for hearing on October 20. The court has directed the police not to arrest the MLA before the hearing of his anticipatory bail petition is completed.
According to sources close to him, the MLA will continue in hiding till the hearing is over. The MLA camp is also planning to move the Kerala High Court if Thiruvananthapuram additional sessions court rejects his anticipatory bail plea.
The CPI-M and BJP have stepped up their agitation against the MLA in Perumbavoor. The posters of the MLA as a missing person are pasted across the constituency by the youth wing of the CPI-M, DYFI. The BJP youth wing, Yuvamorcha also conducted a protest march on Saturday towards the MLA office and burnt the effigy of Kunnappilly.
The Congress party in Kerala, which was about to take up the issue of human sacrifice and the failure of Kerala Police to curb such issues, is on the backfoot after the rape allegation against the MLA surfaced. The Congress party was also planning a series of agitations against the European visit of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan along with his family members and cabinet colleagues.
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President, K. Sudhakaran and leader of the opposition, V.D. Satheeshan had said that the party will take action against Kunnappilly after his version of the accusations and reply to a letter given to him for an explanation.
Organisationally, Kunnappilly is a KPCC member, a two-term MLA and is credited for wresting the sitting seat of the CPI-M.