God's love denied to rape victim? Kerala church asks Suryanelli gangrape victim to stay away

A church in Kerala has asked the Suryanelli gang-rape victim and her relatives to stay from it premises. According to reports, the father of the victim was told to stay away from the Church two weeks ago when he went to express his gratitude for praying for 'a family seeking justice'. 

The case relates to a woman who was abducted in 1996 and taken to various places and sexually exploited by more than 40 men over a span of 40 days. Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson PJ Kurien was allegedly one of her assaulters and the victim's plea to make him an accused was rejected by a Kerala court five days ago. The victim, who was 16 when abused, is likely to challenge the verdict in the Kerala High Court. She had last month also approached the police to file a case against Mr Kurien but it was turned down.

In 2005, the Kerala High Court tried 35 men in the case and convicted only one - a lawyer named Dharmarajan. This January, the Supreme Court set aside the verdict and ordered a re-trial within six months. Since then, there has been a clamour by the opposition in Congress-ruled Kerala and at the Centre for Mr Kurien's resignation. The 72-year-old leader has refused to step down, saying he was cleared by the Supreme Court. The union government has also defended Mr Kurien, telling Parliament that three separate police investigations had cleared him.

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