Suryanelli: Will abide by court's verdict, says PJ Kurien

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Thiruvanathapuram, Feb 5: Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien told newspersons here today that he will abide by the court's verdict in the Suryanelli rape case. To a specific query whether he is ready to face an enquiry if the court orders it, Kurien said that he cannot ignore the court's directions.

Pointing out that the Supreme Court has exonerated him, he averred that there is no need for a further probe. When asked about the rape victim's letter to Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and the Leader of Opposition VS Achuthanandan in which she sought a fresh enquiry, Kurien dismissed her plea by saying that she had made the same appeal in the past.

Refusing to quit just because the victim and the CPI-M are demanding his resignation, he noted that the charges against him were first levelled 17 years ago and in the interim the police has looked into the charges at least thrice.

The victim who was a minor at the time 42 persons raped her over the course of 40 days back in 1996 has repeatedly claimed that Kurien sexually assaulted her.

According to the victim, investigators did not include the Congress leader in the list of accused despite her even though she clearly informed the police about how he exploited her. She stressed that at least now Kurien should be prosecuted.

PJ Kurien

However, he feels the victim is part of a political conspiracy. The CPI-M wants to rake up the issue in the next elections just like they did during the 2004 Lok Sabha polls, Kurien alleged.

Opposition parties in the state have rejected his contention that "a matter settled by the Supreme Court" cannot be opened again. Yesterday, the Left Democratic Front forced an adjournment in the Kerala Assembly as the government did not accede to the demand for a re-investigation especially on Kurien's involvement in the sensational rape case.

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