Ruling out the possibility of the resigning following allegations of his involvement in the 1996 Suryanelli gangrape case, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson and Congress MP PJ Kurien said today that his conscience is clear and he has nothing to worry about.
"There is no question of stepping down from my position," the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson told CNN-IBN in an interview.
Kurien said he has nothing to worry about as the courts have already given him a clean chit. "The girl is being used by my opponents to settle political scores," he said.
Kurien's statements come even as the Congress leadership has questioned the timing of the fresh charges against Kurien. Pressure has been growing on Sonia to act against Kurien after the Suryanelli rape victim's mother wrote to her on Thursday asking her to intervene in the interest of justice for her daughter. However, sources said that Congress leadership has questioned the timing of the fresh charges against Kurien, reported CNN-IBN.
Meanwhile, the BJP's Kerala unit demanded an impartial re-investigation into the alleged involvement of Kurien in the alleged rape case. Kurien had no moral right to continue in the post and till the probe is completed, he should step down, BJP state president V Muraleedharan told reporters in Kozhikode.
Muraleedharan alleged that various information coming out in the case reveals that attempts are being made to sabotage the case. UDF government's reported stand that a re-investigation into the rape case was not possible is 'childish', he alleged.
BJP state secretary, KS Rajan charged that the then investigating officer in the case Sibi Mathew had allegedly altered the statement given by him (Rajan) about having seen Kurien in Tiruvalla at a house of one PK Idukkula on the day when the alleged sexual assault on the girl had taken place. Rajan said he would resort to legal steps against Mathew.
The Left led opposition in Kerala has begun a campaign for a reinvestigation into Kurien's role following the Supreme Court quashing the High Court's acquittal of all the accused. Kurien, however, has been maintaining that he has never been indicted by any court.
In 1996, in Suryanelli, bordering the tea gardens of Munnar, a teenaged girl was raped by over 42 men including a bus conductor and many others. Faced with ostracisation, the victim's family had to leave the village.
Kurien was acquitted in the 1996 case, but the gangrape victim has named him as one of the men who assaulted her in 1996. The Suryanelli rape survivor sent a letter to the Supreme Court last week, asking for a review of the apex court's order quashing all charges against Kurien.