Spelling more trouble for Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien, wife of a late witness has contested the claim made by him that he had not been at the Kumily panchayat rest house at the time mentioned by the Suryanelli rape case victim. Contradicting the claim that Kurien was at the house of late P K Idicula in Tiruvalla at 8 pm on the day the alleged rape had occurred, his wife Annamma Idicula, on Tuesday told Express that Kurien had come to her home between 4 pm and 5 pm.
Though it may not directly nullify Kurien’s claims that he had not been at the rest house at the time mentioned by the rape victim, it may weaken the arguments specified in the petition he filed in the High Court.
According to Annamma, her husband had known Kurien, and the latter had visited her house several times. “Kurien had been here between 4 pm and 5 pm on February 19, 1996. He had been accompanied by some others, and made some telephone calls from here. However, I don’t remember the persons with him. He spent around 45 minutes here,” Annamma told Express.
K S Rajan, former district vice-president of the BJP, Alappuzha, had also disclosed to a TV channel that he had met Kurien at 5 pm at Idicula’s house. Three other witnesses who appeared for Kurien has not wavered from their stance. Charly Abraham, former member of Alappuzha district panchayat and another witness in the case, said that he stands firm on the statement that had been given before the enquiry officers.
Abraham told reporters at his house in Kallissery, near Chengannur, on Tuesday that he had met Kurien at P K Idicula’s house in Tiruvalla at 7 pm on February 19 with the intention to collect a deposit for Umayattukara Service Cooperative Bank along with K S Rajan, treasurer of the bank, and Adv Kuruvilla Jacob, who was a director board member of the bank. “I do not know why Rajan has backtracked from his older statement before the inquiry officers. I remember that P J Kurien had come to Idicula’s house at 6.30 pm and stayed till 7 pm,” Charly said. Adv Kuruvilla George also confirmed Charley’s statement to reporters on Tuesday.
NSS general secretary Sukumaran Nair told ‘Express’ that there is no change in his statement which had been given to investigative officers 16 years ago.
“I cannot change my words as it was a factual statement. I do not know why the others are retracting their statements,” he said.