Kerala minister in trouble over ice-cream parlour case

Close on the heals of the implication of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman in the Suryanelli case, another Kerala politician -- Industries Minister P K Kunhalikutty— is embroiled in charges of rape in the longstanding ice-cream parlour case.

In the re-investigation report, a copy of which has been given to Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan on a court directive, victims – Rajeena, Rejula, Bindu and Roselyn reiterated their statement that Kunhalikutty had raped them.

The victims also repeated that they had been given Rs four lakh each by Rauf, a close relative and then a confidant of Kunhalikutty in return for not naming the minister during the investigations. They also allege that the two had paid them many times later.

During the re-investigation, they had recalled being taken to a house in Kozhikode and were tutored to give statements to the investigators. The women allege that Kunhalikutty was present in the house.

However, they failed to stick to their original statements during the re-investigation and told the police that Kunhalikutty had raped them. Rauf’s driver also told the re-investigation team that he had been an eye-witness of giving money to the girls.Bindu and Roselyn said that they had been smuggled to Gulf when the issue had rocked Kerala. The minister and Rauf fell out later due to an unspecified issue.  The victims statements in the ice-cream parlour case is certain to rock the UDF government, which is surviving by a wafer thin majority.  Achuthanandan said he would move the court asking it to set aside the reinvestigation report and clear him, while directing the police to file fresh case against Kunhalikutty as the victims have stuck to their earlier

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