Rape victim wants Cong leader probed

Rape victim wants Cong leader probed
A day after the Supreme Court set aside the Kerala High Court verdict acquitting 35 accused in the serial rape of a minor girl from Suryanelli in Kerala, the victim stuck to her stand that senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha deputy chairman P J Kurian was among those assaulted her.

In a letter to "the counsel appearing for the de-facto complainant/victim", the girl requested him to explore the possibility of filing a review petition in the Supreme Court against its earlier order which exonerated Kurian, by quashing the proceedings of a private complaint at a magistrate court in Idukki district in Kerala.

The letter, written on January 29, said that every investigating officer was told that Kurian had allegedly assaulted her along with others at a guest house in Kumali in Idukki. But, after the probe they had not charge-sheeted him in the case and hence, the victim said, she had filed a private complaint at the judicial magistrate court at Peerumedu in Idukki.

After recording the statement of the victim, the court had issued summons to Kurian, who approached the high court seeking quashing of the proceedings. After the high court dismissed his petition, Kurian won a favourable verdict from the Supreme Court. She said that she was neither summoned by the Supreme Court nor given a chance to present her case. Under pressure, police officers had tried to save Kurian, she alleged.

Kurian, when contacted by TV channels on Friday, refused to comment on the charges, saying he would react on the issue at the appropriate time and place. The media is going for sensational stuff, he said.

Senior advocate Chander Uday Singh, who led the victim's case in the apex court against the acquittals of 35 accused, said he had not received any such letter nor he had any information about her request for re-opening the case against Kurian.

Reacting to the victim's allegation that police had not looked into her complaint that Kurian had assaulted her, retired ADGP Siby Mathews, who had probed the case, said police could not probe the case blindly going by the statement of the victim.

Mathews said police had examined the tour details of Kurian (a Union minister of state in 1996 when the rape case was reported). The girl had alleged that Kurian had assaulted her at Kumali guest house. On that day Kurian had toured without police escort and he was with a friend at Thiruvalla, away from Kumali, Mathews said.

"However, special prosecutor Janardhana Kurup was against my finding. Kurup wanted to make Kurian an accused in the case. Due to the dispute, then chief minister E K Nayanar had sought a report from then Advocate-General M K Damodaran, who, after examining the case diary, ratified the police finding. The decision not to implicate Kurian in the case was taken in the presence of Nayanar. Everything can be examined again," said Mathews.

Victim's family friend and CPM leader Suja Susan George alleged that Kurian had wriggled out of the case with the support of police, government and his Church.

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