What is the Padma Shri? It is the fourth highest civilian award given in the country. So if somebody is given such an award or respect by the government, it is his/her responsibility to live by a certain standard. But this doesn’t seem to be the case with Sundar Menon, who was awarded the Padma Shri for his contributions to the social sector. Mr. Menon has been in the news for allegedly assaulting an MBA student in Thrissur last week.
The Kochi Post spoke to her about the incident.
“It happened last Sunday around 11 p.m. Only my cousin and I were at home. My mother had gone down to switch on the motor and take water from the purifier. My father had gone to the medical store to collect some medicines. Mr. Menon came at this time. When I heard the door bell, I thought my father had come back. When I opened the door, it was Mr. Menon. Though I told him my father was not at home, he pushed the door open and entered inside the house. He then started making threats saying he would finish my father, mother and me. I had my phone in my hand at that time. He thought I was recording what he was saying. He tried to snatch the phone from my hands, but I resisted. He then pushed me, I fell down and my right hand got fractured. I then ran to my room and locked it. I called my neighbour and asked him to tell my mother to come. He and my mother arrived quickly and I heard my mother’s voice outside the room. She asked him why he came so late, even if he had a problem with my father. Mr. Menon should not have come this late. He was drunk too and started abusing my mother and the neighbour, who also questioned Mr. Menon’s misbehavior. It was Mr. Menon’s driver and my neighbor who finally got him to leave,” she says.
When asked about the response from the police after filing the complaint, she said, “We have been calling the police many times, but they said they couldn’t locate him. They say he has left the country.”
When The Kochi Post contacted the Thrissur East Circle Inspector Sethu, he said, “We have taken a case with reference to a complaint received from the woman. The current status of the case is Mr. Menon is out of station. We are searching for him and his vehicle has been taken into custody. There is already a case in his name at the station for passport rule violation and making a fake passport.”
Mr. Menon is also involved in a case filed on the alleged mistreatment of elephants, filed by the Heritage Animal Task Force. The Kochi Post had reported that there are allegations that Dr. Menon ill-treated the elephants owned by the Thirvambady Devaswom, which were kept in his compound, for the past one year.
Mr. Menon has been honoured by the country in a way that only a few can dream of. But the incidents he has been involved in recently reflect poorly on the recipient of the Padma Shri.
Main photograph by NetventureHpd, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.