Achuthanandan should quit over liquor tragedy allegations: Opposition

Monday, February 7, 2011

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM - The Congress-led opposition in Kerala Monday walked out of the assembly after demanding that Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan resign over allegations by his CPI-M colleague that Achuthanandan had a decade back tried to influence a judicial probe into a liquor tragedy that left 32 people dead.

Moving an adjournment motion in the state assembly, senior Congress legislator Aryadan Mohammed said: “It is a shame that we have a chief minister who tried to influence a judicial commission that probed a liquor tragedy.”

“This revelation has not been made by the opposition… it has been made by P. Sasi, the political secretary of then chief minister E.K. Nayanar. Sasi made this in a written letter to your own party secretary… It is best you give an explanation and then soon quit as chief minister,” said Mohammed.

Sasi, formerly CPI-M Kannur district secretary and political secretary to ex-chief minister Nayanar (1996-2001), in a letter to party state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan Sunday said that Achuthanandan had tried to influence the Justice Mohan Kumar Commission, which probed the Kalluvathukkal liquor tragedy in Kollam in 2000 in which 32 people died.

He alleged that frequent insinuations against him by the chief minister in the media pained him deeply.

Sasi, who is on medical leave from the party, asked Vijayan to relieve him of all responsibilities since his health has further deteriorated.

He also alleged that Achuthanandan has been attacking him as part of a conspiracy and that things got worse after he refused to heed the senior leader’s directions in the controversial liquor tragedy of October 2000.

Mohammed said: “You took the lead in registering a case (the Kozhikode ice cream parlour sex scandal) and now the same yardstick has to be applied to Sasi’s disclosure… The allegations levelled by Sasi include hatching a conspiracy, influencing a judicial commission and making forged documents.”

Achuthanandan denied all allegations and said: “(Justice) Mohan Kumar is a person… when he was in service in the judiciary… I filed a petition against him in a case of seniority. And if he was seized of the matter that I had tried to influence him, do you think he would have allowed me to go? This probe was years back and till date he has not spoken a word against me and that itself speaks the truth.”

The Commission had found 39 people guilty, who are now in jail.

Achuthanandan also retorted that the opposition was only worried that after the ice cream parlour sex scandal case, many others would be held for their involvement in sex scandals.

Dissatisfied by the reply and the denial of the adjournment motion, the entire opposition walked out of the house.

The Kerala government Thursday ordered a re-investigation in the Kozhikode ice cream parlour sex scandal involving Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader P.K. Kunhalikutty following allegations that two former high court judges had helped him in the case.

The case of sexual abuse of a minor girl, which involved Kunhalikutty, a former state industries minister, was closed by the courts in 2006, including the Supreme Court.

The alleged sex racket in early 1990s used an ice cream parlour in Kozhikode as its base, giving the scandal its name.

Filed under: Politics

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