A Congress MP from Kerala has kicked up a storm by calling the victim in the Suryanelli rape case a prostitute. During a press conference in Muscat on Saturday, K Sudhakaran said the victim — who was allegedly raped by 42 men over 40 days in 1996, when she was 16 — had carried out “outright prostitution”.
“After receiving benefits, she is making a fool of people,” he said. “She had opportunities to escape if she wanted… Charges against Rajya Sabha deputy chairman PJ Kurien are baseless.”
Kurien was named by the victim as one of the assaulters, but the Kerala HC quashed charges against him. The decision was upheld by the Supreme Court.
Sudhakaran’s remarks echoed those made by former Kerala HC judge R Basant, who recently defended the court’s decision to acquit 35 accused in the case, saying the victim was a child prostitute and was not raped. Last month, the apex court quashed the verdict and ordered a retrial.
The MP’s statement drew widespread condemnation. “He should withdraw his statement and tender an apology,” said Bindu Krishna, state president of Mahila Congress.