Brinda Karat slams Cong MP's remarks about Suryanelli victim

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K Sudhakaran
New Delhi, Feb 18: CPI-M politburo member Brinda Karat has slammed Kannur MP K Sudhakaran whose uncharitable remarks about the Suryanelli gangrape victim have triggered nationwide outrage.

She noted that there was much talk about the dignity of women at the ruling party's recent Chintan Shivir in Jaipur and yet Congress leaders were repeatedly degrading those who had been subjected to sexual assault.

Pointing out that PJ Kurien has not been removed from the post of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman despite serious charges being levelled against him in the Suryanelli case, Karat said that now a senior MP has demeaned the Suryanelli rape survivor.

The reference was to Sudhakaran's comment about the girl who was still a minor in 1996 when a total of 42 men sexually exploited her. While interacting with mediapersons in Muscat the other day, the MP dubbed her a "child prostitute".

Sudhakaran alleged that the men had showered gifts on the girl besides giving her cash. According to him, she accepted the favours at that time and now without any shame is telling news channels about how she was taken from one place to other over the course of 40 days.

The girl could have escaped from her captors if she wanted during this period but she let go off several opportunities, Sudhakaran added.

He drew widespread flak for this. VS Achuthanandan, Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Assembly, stressed that it is unbecoming for a parliamentarian to make comments which are not suited to the culture of the state.

Pinarayi Vijayan who heads the CPI-M's Kerala unit wondered whether Sudhakaran had purposefully gone to Oman to say such things.

Strongly condemning Sudhakaran, former state Health minister PK Sreemathi said that his remarks were very cruel.

Rajya Sabha member TN Seema called for Sudhakaran to be booked immediately in this connection.

The Yuva Morcha said that a case should be registered against the MP under the new laws pertaining to greater protection for women.

Congress leaders in Kerala were also riled by their colleague's words. AICC secretary Shanimol Usman said that Sudhakaran must withdraw the controversial statement immediately and apologise to the victim. Mahila Congress chairperson Bindu Krishna raised the same demand.

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