Deputy Chairman of Rajya sabha, PJ Kurien led the Indian delegation to Rome and took part in the installation of Pope Francis as the 266th Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. Mr. Kurein along with his wife Susan Kurien also met Pope Francis at the inauguration.
The Suryanelli victim's mother, however, protested the meet. “It is for sinners like us to stay away and for puritans like him to meet the pope,” she said. The Catholic victim, then a 16-year-old schoolgirl, has accused Mr Kurien of being one of 42 men who raped her after she was abducted and kept in custody for 40 days in Kerala.
The victim had reportedly eloped with her boyfriend, and during the journey, he disappeared. Subsequently, she was befriended by a woman, who along with a lawyer cheated her and took her to different places across Kerala
and Tamil Nadu, where she was raped.
The issue came out in the open when the father of the Church, where the girl's family used to go had advised them to stay away from the church proceedings, till all the cases are sorted out. The father of the Suryanelli victim told NDTV, “The priest told me, 'Now you are coming on TV channels regularly, your face is shown, people know you.' He advised me that it is better not to come to church for a period of time.”
The Kerala High Court from today is likely to take up the bail pleas of 25 accused in the case.