FIR against League leader, relative

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Kozhikode/Thiruvananthapuram (Ker) Jan 30 (PTI) In freshtroubles to Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader P KKunhalikutty, police today registered a case against him andhis relative K A Rouf based on the latter''s claim that theformer minister had used his influence to sabotage the"Icecream parlour" sex scandal case.

With the issue snowballing into a major legal and politicalrow, police in Kozhikode registered an FIR against the duo oncharge of entering into a conspiracy to pressurise some of thevictims in the case to retract their earlier statements, whichbecame vital in subsequent dismissal of the case.

Kozhikode City Police Commissioner P Vijayan said the casewas taken suo motu based on media reports regarding Rouf''sclaim that he had worked for getting the victims to retracttheir statements, apparently to save Kunhalikutty.

The FIR against them included such charges as conspiracy,destruction of proof and influencing witnesses in the case.

Adding a serious dimensions to the controversy,a MalayalamTV channel today telecast the tapes of a sting operation inwhich a former Additonal General of Prosecutions purportedlyclaimed that two former judges of Kerala High Court had beeninfluenced for getting the case weakened.

The channel claimed that it had material to establish thatthere had been attempts to sabotage the case at various stagesbut had been witholding some of the material considering thesafety of the victims.

The channel, however, said all material at its disposalwould be handed over to the competent authority.

The case related to allegations that surfaced in late 1990sthat an icecream parlour in Kozhikode city was used as a coverfor luring young women into sex rackets.

The case took a shocking turn when a victim claimed thatKunhalikutty had exploited her for sex. She later retractedher allegation and also withdrew a statement given at amagistrate court.

Kunhalikutty quit as Industries Minister in the Congress-led UDF Government in 2004 in the wake of allegations inconnection with the case.

The IUML leader, however, did not figure as an accused butpolitical rivals and women''s rights outfits alleged that hehad misused his position and clout to avoid facingprosecution.

The issue resurfaced two days back with Kunhalikutty comingout with a claim that he faced a threat to his life from Rouf,who had also sought to blackmail him.

The same day, Rouf refuted the charges and said that he hadbeen used by Kunhalikutty to wriggle out of the case. (More)PTI TKK JRK NM RC

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