Kurien ‘exposed’ by Suryanelli convict

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11 Feb 2013

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Suryanelli convict exposes Kurien

In a fresh blow to the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman whose exit is now virtually sealed, advocate SS Dharmarajan, the sole person convicted in the sensational Suryanelli serial rape case, has informed a Kerala television channel that PJ Kurien was with him at the Kumily Panchayat rest house on the day of the alleged rape. Kurien has countered that there is no need to give credence to the statement of a convict.

Dharmarajan, who was serving a jail term but absconded while on parole in 2005, made his sensational allegation from a secret location. While it is not known what has prompted him to speak out now, he told the channel that he had taken Kurien in his own car to Kumily, where the girl was kept in confinement. There is no need to say more, he said, everyone knows what happened. He added that he had informed the lead investigator in the case, Sibi Mathews, the then DIG (Crime) and currently Chief Information Commissioner of the State, about this, but was told not to name Kurien.

Dharmarajan is the second witness after KS Rajan to specifically allege that Sibi Mathews did not properly record the testimony given to him. On February 5, Rajan told private television channels that he had informed Mathews that he met Kurien at Idikkula’s house in Thiruvalla town around 5 pm, but that Mathews recorded this as 7 pm to provide Kurien an alibi for not being at the crime scene that day. Now Dharmarajan has directly implicated the lead investigator by stating that he was told to maintain silence over Kurien’s involvement in the case. Previously, KK Joshua, a member of the investigating team, also questioned Mathews’ role in the probe.

Interestingly, NSS general secretary G Sukumaran Nair who had deposed that Kurien was with him at Changanassery when the alleged rape took place in Idukki has gone off the radar. Thus, virtually all of Kurien’s defenses have fallen apart.

With this, the Kerala High Court, which came under a cloud after the Supreme Court on January 31 cancelled the 2007 acquittal of 35 accused and ordered retrial in the case, will have to investigate the movements of Kurien that day, as also the conduct of Sibi Mathews for alleged falsification of evidence and witness tampering. The victim has since pointed out that the apex Court discharged Kurien without hearing her; doubtless the august Court will ensure that such opprobrium does not visit the highest temple of justice again.

Dharmarajan’s unexpected testimony vindicates the victim who filed a private complaint against Kurien in 1999 before the Perumedu First Class Judicial Magistrate Court in Idukki, demanding that he be made an accused in the case. She was then only 19 years old.

Even today, her complaint, under Section 190 of Criminal Procedure Code, makes painful reading. She told the magistrate that she was studying in Class 9 in 1996, and used to travel to school by bus. She thus became acquainted with the ticket checker, Raju, who expressed a desire to marry her. One day he asked her to come away with him, which she refused, at which he threatened to morph photographs of her and some family members and defame them as he had acquired a photo album of the family from the victim’s friend Fathima.

To protect the reputation of her family members and get the album back, the girl agreed to accompany him, thinking he only wanted to marry her. They took a convoluted route to Thiruvananthapuram and were followed by a woman called Usha, also an accused in the case. At some stage they were joined by SS Dharmarajan.

Usha took charge of the victim and told her that henceforth if anyone asked she should say her name was Anjali, age 18 years, and that she was studying in college. Usha told her to travel with Dharmarajan (who gave his name as Shrikumar); they travelled to Kottayam. Here, he locked her in a room, and when she resisted, slapped her, held her neck, and raped her repeatedly. He threatened to kill her parents if she did not listen to him.

Dharmarajan took away all the money the victim was carrying, along with her gold earrings and silver anklets. Thoroughly frightened of Dharmarajan, the victim accompanied him to Ernakulum, Kozhikode, Palakkad, Kumily, Kanyakumari, and Thiruvananthapuram, where Dharmarajan and others raped her up to February 25, 1996.

On February 15, 1996, the victim was brought to Kumily Panchayat rest house. She was held in a locked room and watched over by Dharmarajan or his friend Jamal, who would let some persons in from time to time. The victim learnt from their conversation that the duo made a lot of money from these men.

On February 19, at about 7 pm, Dharmarajan let a fat khadi-clad man, about 50 years old, into the room and locked the door from outside. The victim informed the magistrate that she told this man that Dharmarajan and his friend were keeping her in unlawful custody and selling her for sex. She requested him to save her. When he ignored her pleas and she resisted his attempts to rape her, he slapped her for crying aloud and caught hold of her neck. As she fainted, he grabbed her and raped her repeatedly and brutally. Later, Dharmarajan came and took this man away, locking the room as before.

After her release, the victim and her father made a police complaint, as a result of which Raju, Usha, Dharmarajan and others were arrested. Some culprits could not be identified, but the victim recognised Kurien from a relatively large photograph published in Mathrubhoomi as the man who raped her in the Kumily rest house on February 19, 1996.

The victim has adhered to her story ever since, yet the accused has always escaped being charged in the case. Nor was he ever brought before her for identification, as happened with the other accused, 35 of whom she identified. The victim submitted affidavits of witnesses who saw Kurien in Kumily that day, but the Kerala High Court dubbed these witnesses as unreliable.

It is pertinent that Kurien, a six-term member of the Lok Sabha and three term member of the Rajya Sabha, was unanimously elected Deputy Chairman of the upper house in 2006. Clearly the august house needs to review its procedures to ensure that in future, persons accused of heinous crimes are not elevated to such exalted positions.

Sandhya Jain is a political analyst and independent researcher. She is the author of ‘Adi Deo Arya Devata- A Panoramic View of Tribal-Hindu Cultural Interface’ (Rupa & Co., 2004) and ‘Evangelical Intrusions. Tripura: A Case Study’ (Rupa & Co., 2009).

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000367657203 Omprakash Singh

    There seems to be a fertile party going on on the aphrodisiac of power, be it anyday, abhisex or rapers of various name.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1670363359 Seetharam Naidu

    It is now evident for the world to see what sort of beasts are int the upper and lower houses of the country. The Parliament has become a den of
    predators and the UPA under the chair person and a feckless Manmohan can tolerate and perhaps tacitly support such carnivoes for the sake of power that is poison.

  • http://twitter.com/kaarmic1981 Phoenix

    Well Well Well!!!
    This is the worst thing that can happen to someone. Just by reading the above article i start to cringe at the thoughts of what the victim must have gone through, then I wonder what the condition of this victim must be?

    Are we gonna ever see justice delivered to this victim of rape. Is Congress going to continue to carry on with such immoral bastards in their party.

    Are we going to see a fast track court instituted atleast 17 years after the crime has been perpetrated and these accused tried and punsihed according to theri misdeeds

    What about the Investigating Officer? Shouldnt he be punished for his deriliction of duty and subverting the investigations and thereby subverting the whole judicial process. Shouldnt he too be charged.

    How long will we have to suffer? Why isnt the Main Stream Media doing more? Why arent we people doing more?

    As long as Rapists, Traitors and Corrupt get into Parliament how is it possiblr for people to Respect them.

    May God save this Country

  • http://thewarriorforjustice.wordpress.com Warrior For Justice

    First, without any doubt as the SC has reopened, PJ Kurien should step down. Thats the least he could do. Congress should sack him immediately, if he does not step down himself.

    But, Sandhya Jain seems to leading her one sided justice on it without even writing one line on the other side! Boy, am I surprised?

    Read the HC judgement first and draw conclusion.


    See yourself and judge yourself. Law of the land, at that time/define law should hold good. But anyway, let HC come back on it again. But electronic media should stop one sided story mongering.

    Recently one false accused on rape was given 10 years imprisonment and 100,000 fine! But was acquitted by Kerala HC.


    Also, there has been huge upshoot in false rape cases and as of 2011 NCRB, conviction of rape stands at 26%, as many rape cases are of consents (a la Kerala) and jilted love affairs!!

  • http://darkalley87.wordpress.com rahul

    That was just waiting to happen.
    Now, he is all finished, and he should be hanged from the nearest lamppost for raping a minor.

  • Bharat – not India

    NDTV had shamelessly carried the interviw of Kurien and projected as if Kurien was a clean fellow. Shame on paidmedia.

    Today they have gone silent on Kumbh tragedy and tried to hide the fact that railways had changed the train at last minute followed by callous UP Police. This was the real reason I read on Niticentral. Look forward for your mobile app. Hope you bring in more truthful eporting.

  • Bala

    @warrior for Justice – even after Basant Kumar exposed for his Attitude in teh case, all witnesses coming forward and indicting Kurien and Mathews – you must be real loyalist of Congress or Kurien or both

    • http://thewarriorforjustice.wordpress.com Warrior For Jutice

      You can call me anything. Does not matter.

      But did you check the order of HC? Do you know why SC asked for a reopen? Do you know what is going on now? Do you know the main witness is still absconding, but feeding to the media? Any many more…NO. I did not give any certificate to anyone or judged anyone.

      But you seem to have all the knowledge/info to judge. And author of this piece (no offence intended towards the author).Cases are not judged by media trials my dear friend.

      That how Cong or BJP or any other party has lorded over this country. A country of blinds will always have 1 eyed king or queen as ruler. But, heck when we were a real democracy ever or will be democracy ever (we stand as one of the worst democracies in the world) – as of 2011 Democracy Index.

  • Advocate Anirban Roy

    A few things that the author of the above article missed out and which should be brought out in all fairness.

    1. Supreme Court hasn’t ordered re-trial. It has merely set aside the Order of the High Court, which was an Appellate Order, on technical grounds without commenting on the merits. Thus there would be no re-trial and no leading of fresh evidence but merely fresh hearing of the appeals.

    2. Kurien wasn’t an original accused. He was sought to be impleaded as an accused by a separate private complaint. The impleadment was quashed by the High Court and the quashing was upheld by the Supreme Court. Thus Kurien has never been tried in the case because no case was made out against him.

    3. Supreme Court Order which requires the High Court to re-hear the Appeals does not affect the earlier order of Supreme Court upholding the quashing of the case against Kurien. Status of Kurien does not change.

    4. Statements made by persons against Kurien today is not testimony or evidence and has no legal consequence.

    5. Allegations against the Investigation Officer is an issue which is outside the scope of High Court Appeals. In other words, the High Court is not going to look into that.

  • http://focuztours.com/ Visit India

    As a citizen of India, its really shame on the whole people of India and i would like to say P J Kurien must resign on moral grounds and the case must be re-investigated from the beginning. Some days ago Oommen Chandy made a controversial statement that P J Kurien was innocent and the investigated teams couldn’t find anything against P J Kurien, so there is no need to the further reinvestigation’s. This is really very cruel and not suitable especially for a honourable Minister. Here closed the door of justice to the girl. And the person who made the rape, still positioned in the in the top post..Just think about the side of that poor girl, she only have the age of our child..The girl was brutally raped by different persons over a period of more than a month in 1996 and still there is no hope for her justice. My nation is really going downward..The increasing number of crimes against the woman lead to be feared to visit India for all people especially the woman travelers.

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