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Feb 15, 2013 at 01:41pm IST

Suryanelli rape case: Key convict Dharmarajan taken into custody by Kerala police

Thiruvananthapuram: The third accused in the Suryanelli rape case, SS Dharmarajan, was taken into custody by a special team of the Kerala police on Friday. Dharmarajan was arrested from an undisclosed location in Karnataka and will be brought to the special court in Kottayam where he will be presented before the magistrate. Dharmarajan, who was granted bail in 2005, had been absconding since then.

On Monday, Dharamrajan had claimed that Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson PJ Kurien was actually involved in the 1996 gangrape case. Dharmarajan had made the revelation while speaking to a local television channel from an undisclosed location in Mysore.

Dharmarajan had said that he had taken Kurien in his own car to Kumili, where the girl was kept in confinement and raped. He claimed that the police did not record Kurien's name despite him telling them and that the then investigation officer Sibi Matthews asked him not to take Kurien's name. He also claimed that Kurien had been kept away from the identification parade. The revelations by the convict lead one to believe that the investigations into the case at some point were derailed.

All the accused on bail were directed by the Supreme Court to secure fresh bail from the Kerala High Court. The Supreme Court also expressed shock over the findings of the Kerala HC that the victim was a willing partner.

In 1996, in Suryanelli, bordering the tea gardens of Munnar, a teenaged girl was raped by over 42 men including a bus conductor and many others. Faced with ostracisation, the victim's family had to leave the village.