Police officers here have denied the allegation by a woman remand prisoner in the Viyyur Central Jail that she had been raped by four Kochi policemen at Velloor after she was arrested by them for a theft in the city.

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Thrikkakara, on Wednesday informed DGP Jacob Punnoose that the woman must have become pregnant much before she was arrested in mid-June.

To back this, he said the jail superintendent had in September made a statement to the court, quoting a medical report, that she was 17 weeks pregnant. This would mean that the 22-year-old Tamil woman, who had worked as a home nurse and domestic help in many parts of Kerala, had conceived much before she was arrested.

The State Human Rights Commission had last week asked the government to order an investigation into the woman's allegation. The woman had made an oral complaint to R. Natarajan, member of the SHRC, when he made an inspection of the Viyyur jail on October 11.

The woman had alleged that she was raped by four policemen when she was taken to Velloor, where she had worked as home nurse, for investigation. She had also said that her arrest was recorded five days after she was picked up by the police.