Former Investigating Officer in Suryanelli case backs Kurien

Former Investigating Officer in the Suriyanelli gangrape case K Ittoop today backed Rajya Sabha Deputy chairman P J Kurien, saying he was not involved in the infamous case that continues to haunt the Congress politician since the past 17 years.

Ittoop, who headed the investigation team in the case before Sibi Mathews took over, told reporters here that Kurien was not involved in the case.

The former Superintendent of Police, who was removed from the team when the CPI(M) led LDF government headed by E K Nayanar was in power, claimed it was done after he allegedly refused to implicate Kurien in the case.

Ittoop, who now resides in Udupi, said he had conducted a "thorough and honest" investigation in the case.

Kurien had never visited the Kumily guest house on Feb 19, 1996 as alleged by the victim, Ittoop said, adding, he had made a thorough probe in this regard.

He alleged that investigations had revealed that the victim was not speaking the truth, but was being 'prompted' by someone else.

When Ittoop was returning after the press meet at the press club here, some activists of All India Youth Front (AIYF), youth wing of CPI, blocked his car. Four of them were taken into custody by police.

Kurien has all along rejected the charge and opposition's demand for his resignation, saying it was a matter which had already been cleared by the Supreme Court.

The girl from Suryanelli in Idukki district was abducted in January 1996 and transported from place to place across Kerala and sexually exploited by different persons.

She had sent a letter to the Supreme Court last week, seeking a review of the Apex Court's order quashing all charges against Kurien.

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