Oppn demands fresh probe against Kurien

The CPM-led Opposition continued to protest inside and outside the state Assembly demanding the resignation of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien for his alleged role in the Suryanelli rape case.

Activists of the CPM's All Indian Democratic Women's Association and CPI's National Women's Federation marched to the Assembly complex, which witnessed tense movements after the police arrested CPI's women legislators E S Bijimol and Geetha Gopi.

Alleging that police manhandled the women, Opposition legislators stalled the proceedings at the Assembly and staged a walkout.

Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan demanded a fresh probe against Kurien based on the recent disclosures of some of the witnesses in the case. The government had set such a precedent by reopening decades-old political murders based on new revelations.

Replying to the submission from the Opposition leader, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the government has sought legal opinion on reopening the case discharged by the Supreme Court. "Charges against Kurien had been examined by three courts. It was cruel to punish a person who had done nothing wrong," he said.

Later in the evening after the Cabinet meeting, Chandy clarified that he had not stated that the government was against fresh probe. A final decision would be taken only after getting the legal opinion, he said.

Cong cautious

NEW DELHI: Congress reacted cautiously on the demand for resignation of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson P J Kurien and a fresh probe into his alleged involvement in the Suryanelli gangrape case. "Party will consider what are the allegations and how serious are the charges and then will take a view," a senior party leader said requesting anonymity. At the AICC briefing, party spokesman Rashid Alvi said the party does not make any comments on sub judice matters. PTI

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