Kerala on Boil over Suryanelli Gangrape & Kurien

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TNI Bureau: The political war between the ruling Congress-led UDF government and the opposition CPI-M led LDF in Kerala took a new turn after Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien’s name was dragged into the Suryanelli gangrape case. The LDF members stalled the House over the issue and also staged protests outside Assembly demanding Kurien’s resignation and fresh probe against the Congress leader.

The protests across the state also forced Kurien to break his silence. He blamed his political foes, including some in the Congress were involved in the ‘conspiracy’ to malign him.

He claimed that he was innocent and the charges were completely baseless, but his political enemies were behind the conspiracy to drag his name in the matter, which had already been cleared by the Supreme Court.

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Kurien, a former minister and long-time MP, who tried to clean his hands in the gangrape case, landed in trouble after the victim from Suryanelli in Idukki district wrote to her advocate on January 29 to explore the possibility of filing a review petition, seeking a fresh probe against him.

The victim was abducted in January 1996 and transported from place to place across Kerala and sexually exploited by different persons. She alleged that the Congress leader was one of them who had gangraped her.

The fresh protests against Kurien put pressure on the Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who tried to manage the situation saying the government did not rule out the possibility of a further investigation into the alleged involvement of the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson in the Suryanelli gangrape case. Backing Kurien, he said that an appropriate decision would be taken after getting the legal opinion.

Leader of the Opposition V S Achuthanandan said the LDF members would continue their protests in the House and the state to press their demands.

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