The Suryanelli case has taken yet another turn with the arrest of Dharmarajan, the only person who was convicted in the case and who accused Rajya Sabha deputy chairman PJ Kurien of involvement in the rape case.
Dharmarajan had jumped bail soon after being convicted in 2001 for traficking the girl for prostitution and other charges.
The other 35 people, most of whom were accused of raping a 16 year old girl, were let off by the Kerala High Court, holding that the 16-year-old seemed to have agreed to have sex with 42 men in 40 days.
Making a re-appearance after several years on the run, Dharmarajan said in a TV interview last week that he felt bad for the victim and wanted to bring everyonen to justice. He said Congress leader PJ Kurien was definitely one of the 42 people who had sex with the girl.
Dharmarajan, who was the chief organizer of the episode, said Kurien was taken to the Kumili panchayat guest house in his ambasaddor car. “I don’t know what he did inside, but it is wrong to say that Kurien was elsewhere at that time,” he told the Mathrubhoomi channel last week.
The Kerala government, headed by Oommen Chandy, has refused to re-investigate Kurien’s possible role in the episode, but said it would do everything to arrest Dharmarajan.
A special team was sent to Mysore earlier this week to arrest the ex-lawyer.
Dharmarajan was arrested after his cellphone was tracked. The police got the cell number of Dharmarajan, possibly from the journalist who conducted his interview last week, and checked where the phone was active.
They were able to track the phone to a town in Karnataka called Sagar, and arrived at the location yesterday night. They made the arrest today.
He was living in a temple inside the forest and had shaved off his head.
Dharmarajan had said that he was trying to surrender in the Court directly, to avoid a run-in with the police. However, the Kerala government was keen to nab him before he surrendered in a court.