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Feb 18, 2013 at 08:37am IST

Congress MP K Sudhakaran calls Suryanelli rape survivor a prostitute

Thiruvananthapuram: There is furore over comments by a Congress MP against the Suryanelli gangrape case survivor. Congress MP K Sudhakaran has been criticised after he reportedly called the survivor a prostitute. He made the controversial comment during a press conference in Muscat.

"This girl went out shopping, to meet a doctor. She had enough opportunities to escape. But she didn't. She was sexually involved with many men and benefited from it, and later called it rape. The difference between rape and prostitution has to be defined clearly. It is the necessity of the society," Sudhakaran said during the press conference.

ALSO SEE Suryanelli gangrape case: Congress MP's remarks against victim kicks up row

He also called the charges against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien in the case baseless. The Opposition is now demanding action against Sudhakaran. Former Kerala chief minister VS Achuthanandan said, "Such remarks can only be made by an uncivilised person. This is a very filthy (insulting) statement made at the society in general and at women in particular."

Reacting to Sudhakaran's comments, Mahila Congress leader and AICC secretary Shanimol Usman wanted her party colleague to apologise for his remarks on the Suryanelli girl. Joining issue, Mahila Congress state president Bindu Krishna said Sudhakaran's comment was an insult to women as a whole.

CPI-M Rajya Sabha member TN Seema wanted the state government to register a case against Sudhakaran for his "uncalled for comments". CPI-M veteran and Opposition Leader VS Achuthanandan termed Sudhakaran's comments as "heinous" and totally unbecoming of a Member of Parliament. His words went against the cultural spirit of Kerala, the octogenarian leader said.

A former state minister, Sudhakaran had often created controversies by his off-the-cuff remarks like his widely-deplored statement that he was witness to some Supreme Court Judges being bribed in an 'abkari' (excise) case.

Sudhakaran's remarks echoed those made by former Kerala High Court judge R Basanth, who had also called the rape survivor a child prostitute. Justice R Basanth was part of the two-member bench which acquitted the accused in the case in 2005.

A TV channel last week recorded a conversation of Basanth in which he justified the judgement and said there was ample evidence to show that the victim had been used for child prostitution.

(With additional information from PTI)

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