Suryanelli: Congress backs PJ Kurien

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 08, 2013 18:27 hrs

New Delhi, Feb 8 (IBNS) The Congress on Friday defended Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien, who is facing protests in Kerala in connection to the Suryanelli gangrape case, and said higher judicial authorities had given him a 'clean chit'.

"The Congress has never protected anyone. There was a judicial process and he was absolved," Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury said while addressing a press conference on Friday.

"There was an investigation and Kurien was given a clean chit," she said.

Defending himself, Kurien earlier in the day said his conscience ´is clear´ and the case was a political one.

"I am the one who has been wronged," Kurien told NDTV.

"My conscience is clear and the case is a political one," he said.

Demanding Kurien´s resignation in connection to the Suryanelli gangrape case, the CPI-M-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) protested outside the Kerala Assembly on Friday.

The police used water canons to disperse the protesters, reports said.

Earlier on Wednesday, CPI-M´s women wing All-India Democratic Women's Federation took out a march to the Kerala Assembly demanding fresh investigation into the Suryanelli gangrape case as the victim stated that Kurien had raped her.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has already rejected re-investigation into the case.

He said all allegations levelled against Kurien have been cleared by top courts, including the Supreme Court, of the country.

He called the attacks against Kurien as ´unfortunate´.

Chandy slammed the LDF for criticising Kurien on the matter and said "some are trying to trigger a controversy over a matter" that was raised 17 years ago.

The victim in her letter on Jan 29 said Kurien along with other accused in the case had raped her in Kumily panchayat guest house in Kerala.

The Supreme Court last week set aside order given by the Kerala High Court where it acquitted 35 accused in connection with the case.

The Suryanelli rape case is concerned with a 16-year-old girl who was raped by 42 men for 40 days in 1996 in the state.

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