Kerala Assembly adjourned over women activists arrest

A total of 42 men were accused of raping the 16-year-old girl, who hailed from Suryanelli in Kerala's Idukki District.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Assembly was adjourned on Thursday  as the Left Democratic Front (LDF) stalled the proceedings over police action against women activists seeking re-investigation in the Suryanelli gang-rape case.

Earlier, CPI-M leader Brinda Karat had demanded a reinvestigation in the case and asked Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien to step down from his office over his alleged involvement in the Suryanelli rape case.

On Wednesday, 76 activists of the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), attempting to enter the Assembly premises, were stopped by the security personnel at the entry and were later arrested. The AIDWA demanded the immediate release of the activists.

According to reports, Kurien's name figured again in connection with the case after the victim wrote to her advocate in Delhi to explore the possibility of filing a review petition, seeking a fresh probe against the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman.

A total of 42 men were accused of raping the 16-year-old girl, who hailed from Suryanelli in Kerala's Idukki District. Brutally raped for 45 days, she was then told by the perpetrators to return home and keep mum.

Rejecting the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)'s demand for his resignation, Kurien on Wednesday said that the demand for a reinvestigation into the case is a political conspiracy against him.

Reacting to the CPI-M's demand of a reinvestigation into the 1996 case, the veteran Congress leader from Kerala said: "If the allegations were new and inquiry were in progress, then the question of resignation is relevant. But the allegations levelled are already a settled matter and the Supreme Court has given a final order in case. It is political conspiracy by CPI-M to gain political benefits." (With inputs from Agencies)