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LDF walkout in assembly over Kurien issue

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LDF walkout in assembly over Kurien issue
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Thiruvananthapuram: Continuing its pressure on Congress led UDF government for re-investigation into the alleged involvement of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien in the Suryanelli gangrape case, opposition LDF Wednesday staged a walk out in the Assembly after government rejected the demand.

The demand for fresh probe in the wake of new revelations by the victim in the case was sought in the House by P Sreeramakrishnan (CPM) through an adjournment motion.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy virtually ruled out fresh probe into the case based on the legal opinion the government had received from State Public Prosecution, Law Secretary, and Justice Padmanabhan Nair, who appeared for the government in the case in the Supreme Court.

The legal opinion said the government has legal constrains in ordering a re-investigation in a case settled by the apex court, Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said.

He said it was difficult for the government to order a fresh probe on the basis of a petition submitted by the victim who maintained that Kurien was among those molested her.

Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan alleged that the government was "trying to shield" Kurien. However, he said no one could protect Kurien now, as things were moving against him.

He said six women MLAs would hold sit-in dharna outside the House if the government refuse to take action against erring police personnel who roughed up the MLAs during a protest march in connection with Suryanelli issue last week.

Speaker G Karthikeyan disallowed the motion after the reply of Chief Minister and Home Minister leading to walkout by LDF opposition members.

The case relates to a girl from Suryanelli in Idukki district being abducted in January 1996 and transported to various places and sexually exploited by different persons.

Kurien was acquitted in the case but the victim had recently named him as one of those who assaulted her in 1996. She sent a letter to Supreme Court last week, seeking a review of the Apex Court's order quashing all charges against Kurien.

Kurien had already rejected the charge and opposition's demand for his resignation.

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