The Suryanelli sex case attained more layers of intrigue with another investigating officer coming out with claims to clear not just P.J. Kurien from the case, but also the first two accused.
K. Ittoop, who was the Superintendent of Police, Crime Branch (Narcotic Wing) and member of the team that probed the case initially, met the media at the Ernakulam Press Club and said Mr. Kurien’s name was first dropped by a CPI(M) leader and a former minister in the LDF government under E.K. Nayanar.
“He told me about Mr. Kurien’s role at the Kottayam police club about three or four days before the girl reported to have recognised him from a photograph in a newspaper (which was on March 27, 1996)…there are signed statements from Dharmarajan and the other accused, who were staying in Kumily Panchayat Rest House on the alleged day that Kurien had never visited with others at that time and he suggested that the name of Kurien may be been implicated due to political reasons,” Mr. Ittoop said.
He reiterated the stand, which was reflected in the judgement given by High Court bench comprising Justice K.A. Abdul Gafoor and Justice R. Basant, that the girl had behavioural problems and was being used for prostitution. But none of these observations made it to the report. “This is my opinion formed after interrogating the girl,” he told The Hindu, adding that this detail was not included in the report as it was not testified by a competent medical professional.
He said that Raju, the first accused, and Usha, the second accused, had no connection with the case, as third accused S.S. Dharmarajan picked up the girl from Kottayam bus stand. “These two were included in the charge sheet, without which the case would not have stood trial. Ideally, it was a case that needed to be referred as ‘mistake of facts’as the allegations placed by the girl were all false.”
Mr. Ittoop alleged that he was removed from the investigating team after he refused to include Mr. Kurien in the list of accused. A special team was constituted under Siby Mathews after the girl lodged a complaint with the Chief Minister alleging the Mr. Kurien abused her at the Kumily Panchayat Guest House. The special team also cleared Mr. Kurien from the case, but it has now become controversy with Dharmarajan claiming that he had brought the then Union Minister to the Guest House on the alleged day.