Thiruvananthapuram: Exerting pressure on the Congress leadership in Suryanelli gang-rape case, the mother of the victim on Thursday wrote to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi wondering how PJ Kurien can continue as Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha when the bill on sexual violence against women is about to be considered by the Upper House.
In her letter faxed to Ms Gandhi, with a copy to AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi, the 70-year-old woman expressed anguish over the Congress-led UDF government in Kerala refusing to order further investigation in Kurien's alleged involvement in the case.
Striking an emotional note, the girl's mother hoped that being a mother herself Ms Gandhi would understand the plight of the victim's family.
"... I wonder how can he (Kurien) chair the discussions when the ordinance aiming at the emancipation of womanhood in India promulgated by the Union of India with regard to the sexual offences against women in the Upper House of Parliament...(is about to be considered)."
"Such a situation would amount to tarnish the image of your party which has got a glorious history in protecting the weaker sex of this country", she said.
Recalling the harrowing experience through which the girl and her family has been through since 1996, the woman said "we bonafidely believe that Kurien had exerted undue influence over the investigating officials in order to escape from the clutches of the law and he has succeeded in that."
She said the family had a genuine grievance in the matter and "though we have petitioned the present Chief Minister of Kerala and the Home Minister to explore the legal possibilities in the matter, their attitude is not positive. We doubt they are forced to take such a stand due to political inclinations," she said.
She said "we have learnt from newspapers that the high command of Congress has decided to support Kurien in this matter. As far as we are concerned, it is heart-breaking," she added.
The girl from Suryanelli in Idukki district was abducted in January, 1996 and transported from place to place across Kerala and sexually exploited by different persons.
Kurien's name figured again in connection with the case after the victim wrote to her advocate on January 29 to explore the possibility of filing a review petition, seeking a fresh probe against him.
Kurien has all along rejected the charge and the demand for his resignation, saying it was a matter which had already been cleared by the Supreme Court.