Suryanelli case rocks Kerala Assembly again, House adjourned

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 07, 2013 06:57 hrs

Thiruvananthapuram: CPI(M)-led LDF opposition today forced the adjournment of the Kerala Assembly over alleged police excess against women MLAs demanding re-investigation of charges against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien in the Suryanelli gangrape case.

Though Chief Minister Oommen Chandy announced that the Government was prepared for a judicial inquiry into the police action on CPI MLAs E S Bijimol and Geetha Gopi yesterday, Opposition Leader V S Achuthanandan insisted on immediate suspension of the "erring" police personnel.

Chandy, quoting ADGP's report and video visuals on the incident, said though nothing could be found in them to take instant action against police officials, considering the seriousness of the incident government was ready for a judicial probe.

After heated exchanges during the Zero Hour, rejecting the Government's stand slogan-shouting opposition members, including women MLAs, rushed to the well of the House. Four of the women MLAs even scaled the Speaker's podium and kept on chanting "we want justice and protection."

Speaker G Karthikeyan then rushed through the rest of the business and adjourned the House hours ahead of the day's schedule.

This was the third day that the LDF was disrupting proceedings in connection with the alleged involvement of Kurien in the Suryanelli case.The opposition has been pressing for a further investigation in the case in the wake of the victim sticking to her charge against Kurien.

On Wednesday, too, they first walked out of the House and later disrupted proceedings, alleging that the protesters including two women MLAs were roughed up by police before the assembly complex.

Earlier on Wednesday night, Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy, who faces intense attack by the opposition leaders, indicated that the government had not totally ruled out the possibility of a further investigation into the alleged involvement of Rajya Sabha deputy chairperson PJ Kurien in the Suryanelli gangrape case.

"Who had said there would not be a further investigation? I have only said that an appropriate decision would be taken after getting the legal opinion. Let us wait for the legal opinion," Chandy told reporters as the CPI-M led LDF raised the temperature on the issue both inside and outside Assembly.

CPI MLA from Peerumade in Idukky ES Bijimol complained in the House that she had a harrowing experience with police when she went out to pledge support to the march. LDF members then rose in protest demanding action against the erring police officials before boycotting the House on Wednesday afternoon, leading to its adjournment.

Countering the opposition in the assembly, Chandy said, "Government has sought legal opinion on whether it can reopen a case discharged by the Supreme Court. Government is yet to get legal advice on it," Radhakrishnan said.

An unfazed 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.

After the adjournment, Leader of the Opposition V S Achuthanandan said LDF would continue the battle to press its demand.

Congress treads cautiously

Congress today 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 gang-rape case.

"Party will consider what are the allegations and how serious are the charges and then will take a view (on the matter)," 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.

"Let us wait for the order. Government is bound to follow what is the order," he said when asked on Kurien's fate in wake of fresh revelations in the episode.

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.

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