VS forgets pain of Kiliroor victim’s parents

via PNS | Thiruvananthapuram published on November 13, 2009

Octogenarian communist VS Achuthanandan had come to power in Kerala promising to the State to parade on the streets in handcuffs the many sexual perverts who had abused minor girls during the previous Congress-led regime. But after 42 months in power as Chief Minister, he has not been able to do anything in these cases to fulfill that promise.

Ironically, when the parents of the victim of the infamous Kiliroor sex scandal, Saari S Nair, the 16-year-old girl who died in a Kottayam hospital after being brutally persecuted sexually, tried to stage a Sathyagraha in front of the Cliff House, Achuthanandan’s official residence in the capital, on Friday demanding justice, his police arrested them. Friday was the fifth death anniversary of Saari, who had died after giving birth to a baby girl.

At about 10.15 am, Saari’s father Surendran, mother Sreedevi and five-year-old daughter Sneha, accompanied by the activists of the Kiliroor Action Council, reached the road leading to Cliff House carrying a portrait of Saari. Just when they were trying to squat some 200 metres away from the Cliff House gates, the police arrested them all, citing security reasons.

They informed the police that they were not particular about sitting in front of the Chief Minister’s residence but could protest from another venue a long way away, but the police did not permit this also. “After killing my daughter, they are now hurting me,” Surendran told the media, adding, “The position the Chief Minister has presently adopted on the matter is disturbing.”

However, the police did not allow him to talk to the Press or to meet the Chief Minister to register his grief in not booking the actual culprits behind the persecution of his child. “I have come here to tell the Chief Minister about my grief. It is for that the police have arrested me now,” he said with tears welling in the eyes.

After wrestling with painful body conditions for more than three months in the hospital, Saari had died in a Kottayam hospital on November 13, 2004, after giving birth to Sneha. She had given birth to Sneha at the Medical College Hospital, Kottayam on August 15, 2004, where she was admitted first in a serious condition.

As her condition worsened, she was shifted to a private hospital in Kottayam on September 16, where she underwent operations twice after infection in the intestine. She was shifted back to the Medical College Hospital on October 31 as per the instruction from a special team appointed by the then government.

Achuthanandan, after visiting the girl in the hospital then had said he had information that Saari had got critically alarmed seeing a “VIP” visitor. It was in this context that Achuthanandan made his historic statement while electioneering for the 2006 Assembly polls in Kundara, Kollam. “Don’t you want to see all these evil-doers booked? If the Left comes to power all these sex-abusers will be paraded on the streets in handcuffs,” he told the audience then.

Rumours were then rife that this VIP was a senior CPI(M) leader (presently a Minister in the Achuthanandan government), who had tried to intervene in the matter for a kin. However, when the moment for being clear about the allegation last year, Achuthanandan said he had no direct knowledge about this “VIP” but he was merely reporting what a doctor had told him.

The CBI had probed the case and had identified the same nine persons, found guilty by the local police earlier, as accused. The case was put for reinvestigation which was carried out under then Inspector General (Central Zone) R Sreelekha. But the probe did not reach a satisfactory conclusion. K Suresh Babu IAS, former additional secretary in the Chief Minister’s office, had alleged that some staff members there had shown utter callousness to the files regarding the Kiliroor case.

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