Suryanelli case: Congress defends Kurien, sets bad example

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PJ Kurien
Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 26: On one hand Congress-led UPA government is claiming to bring strong laws to protect women against sexual assault. But when it comes to taking action against one of its own party leader, who is facing serious charges of rape, it is defending the accused.

By trying to protect and defend Congress leader and Rajya Sabha deputy chairman PJ Kurien in connection with Suryanelli gang-rape case, Congress is setting a bad example.

On Sunday, Kerala police booked 111 Facebook users for their anti-Kurien comments in connection with his alleged role in the infamous gang-rape case at the social-networking site. The action of the government received lot of criticism. But, Congress came to defend its action.

Minister of State for Human Resources and Development (HRD) Shashi Tharoor defended Kerala Police for booking 111 Facebook users. Tharoor said it was a case of defamation.

In fact, it was Kerala Mahila Congress leader Bindu Krishna who had earlier filed a complaint with the police, following which the Kerala Police Cyber Cell registered the case against 111 people.

Moreover, when women groups and several CPI (M) leaders in Kerala are demanding resignation of Kurien, Congress says its action is based on "legal opinion".

"Kerala government's actions on the Suryanelli gangrape case is based on the legal opinion it has received so far," said Kerala home minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan.

In fact, Kurien has also made it clear he won't resign from his post.

Earlier, the mother of the Suryanelli gangrape victim in Kerala had written an emotional letter to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to ensure that Kurien does not chair the Rajya Sabha when the Bill on sexual violence against women comes up in Parliament.

In 1996, a group of around 40 men raped a 16-year-old school-going girl for 40 days. The victim, who is now 33 years of age, says that Kurien was also involved in raping her. The victim has named Kurien as one of the accused in the horrific incident.

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