Members of the Janadhiyapathiya Mahila Association and other women's organisations affilated to the Left parties gathered near the PMG Students Centre around 9.30 a.m. The activists tried to rush into the Kerala Assembly premises through the main gate but policewomen along with the Watch and Ward staff stopped them from entering.
When some of the women activists were arrested for staging the protest, the others blocked the police van. Former state Health minister PK Sreemathi and TN Seema, a Rajya Sabha MP of the CPI-M, were at the forefront of the agitation.
Upset over the fact that the activists were dragged along the road before being bundled into the van, opposition MLAs including KK Lathika raised slogans against the cops. However, all the activists were forcibly removed from the spot and a case was registered against them. Later, the women were released.
Inside the Assembly too, CPI-M leaders upped the ante. Leader of the Opposition VS Achuthanandan noted that as per the anti-rape ordinance signed by President Pranab Mukherjee on Feb 3, it is incumbent on investigators to give the utmost importance to the statement of rape victims. Achuthanandan said that the victim in the Suryanelli case has levelled charges against Kurien and therefore his role should be probed.
As for Chief Minister Oommen Chandy's argument that previous inquiries had cleared Kurien, the CPI-M leader pointed out that the state government last year ordered a re-investigation in two cases wherein the closure report had already been filed. Achuthanandan was referring to the KT Jayakrishnan murder case and Anchery Baby murder case.
Since at least two of the persons whose alibis were cited by the police teams to exonerate Kurien have reportedly changed their stance, Achuthanandan called for a fresh probe in order to determine whether the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman was involved in the case.
Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan replied that the state government is waiting for legal opinion and will act accordingly.