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Suryanelli: Third accused Dharmarajan arrested from Karnataka

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Suryanelli: Third accused Dharmarajan arrested from Karnataka
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Mysore: The infamous Suryanelli sex case's lone convict, who dodged law since 2005 while out on parole, was arrested from a town in neighbouring Karnataka Friday, police said.

Addressing reporters here, district police chief C.Rajagopal said that Dharmarajan was arrested and had not surrendered.

"Our police team was in Karnataka for the past few days and they traced him and arrested him. The police team is now on their way back with the accused and is expected to be here latest by tomorrow (Saturday) early morning," he said Friday.

Speaking to a Malayalam TV channel from undisclosed location a few days ago, Mr. Dharmarajan, who has gone into hiding after jumping bail, had alleged that Mr. Kurien was involved in the case as charged by the victim.

After that, the special team of police personnel from Kottyam was set up to trace and arrest Mr. Dharmarajan, who had claimed in the TV interview that he was speaking from somewhere near Mysore.

The case pertains to the alleged abduction and rape of a 16 year-old from Suryanelli in Idukki district in 1996. She was forcibly taken to different places and allegedly raped by several men.

A special court which tried the case had in 2002 sentenced Mr. Dharmarajan to life imprisonment and 35 others to varying terms. The High Court, however, acquitted the 35 people while remitting the life sentence of Mr. Dharmarajan to five years in 2005. He secured bail to file an appeal the same year but has been absconding since then.

Mr. Kurien is not part of the 35 accused but the victim had filed a private complaint later accusing him also of involvement in the sexual assault. However, Supreme Court had allowed a discharge petition by Kurien.

His name figured again in connection with the case recently after the victim wrote to her advocate to explore the possibility of filing a review petition in the Supreme Court, seeking a fresh probe against him. Kurien has maintained he has been cleared of the charges by the apex court.

Mr. Dharmarajan had claimed that the principal investigator in the case had pressured him not to mention about Mr. Kurien’s involvement in the case.

Mr. Kurien, however, rubbished Mr. Dharmarajan’s charge, holding that the statement of a convict has no legal validity.

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