LDF, IUML members nearly come to blows in Kerala Assembly

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 8 (PTI) The Kerala Assemblywas briefly adjourned today after ruling LDF and OppositionIUML members nearly came to blows following heated argumentsover the ''ice-cream parlour sex scandal''.

Trouble arose when CPI-M member P K Shyalaja moved acalling attention motion, asking the government to reopen thecase and said IUML leader P K Kunhalikutty''s "guilt has beenproved in the case".

This irked IUML leaders, who said the former ministerwas not named as an accused in the case and she was making''untrue'' statements in the house.

CPI-M member V Sivankutty, who was siting next to her,moved towards IUML member Abdurahiman Randathani, who haddisrupted her speech. However, timely intervention of Ministerfor Ports P Surendran Pillai averted a clash between thesemembers, as others sitting nearby also joined them.

With mounting tension, Speaker K Radhakrishanadjourned the house for 25 minutes and called floor leaders ofthe two parties concerned for a discussion.

When the house re-assembled, Radhakrishnan askedmembers to observe discipline and said Shayalaja''s referenceon Kunhalikuty will be removed from the Assembly records.

Later, replying to the motion, Home Minister KodiyeriBalakrishnan said a Special police team had been set up toprobe allegations of K A Rauf, a relative of Kunhalikutty,that he had helped the IUML leader scuttle the case byinfluencing victims and witnesses to retract their statements.

He said Rouf''s allegation that two Kerala High Courtjudges were bribed to get orders in Kunhalikutty''s favour willbe brought to the Court''s notice and "It is for the High Courtto examine that aspect".

Certain matters under prevention of corruption Act hadalso come out against Kunhalikuty, he said, adding, vigilanceprobe will be ordered into these matters.

He said a television channel, which is chaired by IUMLleader M K Munir and that telecast tapes of a sting operationrelated to the 2005 case, had been asked to submit all relatedCDs to enable further action to be taken in the case.

Munir had alleged that some vested interests weretrying to create a wedge between him and Kunhalikutty and that"misleading" statements involving him had been coming out.

The case relates to allegations that surfaced in late1990s that an ice cream parlour in Kozhikode was used as acover to lure young women into sex rackets.

Kunhalikutty quit as Industries Minister in the UDFgovernment in 2005 after one of the alleged victims draggedhis name into the case. He did not figure as an accused. Thecase was later dismissed by the court for want of evidenceagainst the accused in the case.

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