Students, legislators demand reinvestigation of rape charges against Kurien
Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 11 : Students and legislators took to the streets in Kerala and faced the brunt of water cannons on Monday, as they demanded the state government to reopen the investigation against Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha Pallath Joseph Kurien, who is accused of sexual assault in a 17 year-old case.
The victim of the 1996 case wrote to Kerala state chief Oommen Chandy, accusing Kurien as one of her tormentors and sought reinvestigation of Kurien's role in the case in wake of an apex Court order.
Recently, the apex court set aside the judgment of the Kerala High Court in the case, which had acquitted all but one of the 36 suspects.
The protesters, which included members of the Student Federation of India (SFI) and legislators, shouted slogans outside the state assembly, only to be dispersed by the police water cannon.
"We are demanding that the new information is coming out so the government must re-investigate the case. That is our demand. But the government is handling is situation politically and they are using police. They are using police on the agitating youth and the agitating women," said V S Sunil Kumar, legislator for the Communist Party of India (CPI).
Kurien had alleged on Tuesday (February 05) that the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) had raised the issue to gain political mileage in the upcoming polls.
The deputy chairman claimed that he was acquitted in three inquires and by the Supreme Court six years ago.
The victim, a native of Suryanelli in Idukki district, was abducted and raped by different people for around 40 days.