New Delhi: The Kerala Assembly was adjourned for the second time this week on Thursday over the Opposition's uproar following the Suryanelli rape controversy. The Opposition walked out of the assembly after allegations that women MLAs of the LDF were beaten up by the police.
The LDF has demanded action against policemen involved in the incident. The Opposition has all along been asking for the resignation of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman PJ Kurien who was acquitted in the 1996 rape case.
LDF members, led by Opposition leader VS Achuthanadan, upped the ante against UDF Government's refusal to order a fresh investigation, while pro-LDF women outfits took out a march to the assembly.
The LDF had on Wednesday staged a walkout during zero hour reiterating their demand for re-investigation in the light of recent turns in the 1996 Suryanelli case, including the Supreme Court invalidating Kerala High Court's verdict acquitting 35 accused in the case. Despite LDF's aggressive posture, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and state Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said government has an open mind on the issue and would take a decision on Opposition's demand after getting legal opinion. "Government has sought legal opinion on whether it can reopen a case discharged by the Supreme Court. Government is yet to get legal advice on it," Radhakrishnan said.
Chandy reiterated that the charge against Kurien had already been examined by the High Court and Supreme Court after a probe by three police teams. "We are committed to ensure the safety and security of women. But it is very cruel to punish a person who has not done anything wrong', he said. An unfazed Kurien has all along rejected the charge and the demand for his resignation, saying it was a matter which had already been cleared by the Supreme Court. Achuthanandan asserted after the house adjourned that LDF would continue the struggle to secure its demand in the case.
In 1996, in Suryanelli, bordering the tea gardens of Munnar, a teenaged girl was raped by a bus conductor and 40 others.
With Additional Inputs from PTI