Suryanelli rape:Why Congress is giving clean chit to Kurien?

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PJ Kurien
New Delhi, Feb 27: The voices demanding resignation of Congress leader and Rajya Sabha deputy chairman PJ Kurien in connection with Suryanelli gang-rape case are growing louder with passage of each day. But, Congress is hell-bent on defending Kurien, without letting law takes its own course.

Latest to defend Kurien is senior Congress leader and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath. Nath On Tuesday said that there was no evidence against him in the Suryanelli rape case.

"A section of the media and some political members have sought to drag Rajya Sabha deputy chairman Kurien in a rape case. It has emphatically been stated that he has never been accused in the Suryanelli rape case ," said Nath at Rajya Sabha.

However, BJP and Left had made it clear that Kurien should not chair any discussions - especially on women-related issues - in the Rajya Sabha till he is exonerated.

"Let him (Kurien) come and defend. We cannot accept the executive defend the officer of legislature and undermine the sanctity of the Constitution," said CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury.

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.

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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