20070922

KERALA MINISTER IN THE DOCK



Sreemathy In Trouble


The far of a girl who died mysteriously after a visit by a ‘VIP’ says Health Minister PK Sreemathi was the visitor


KA SHAJI
Thiruvananthapuram

Three years after the sensational Kiliroor sex scandal case in which one victim died mysteriously in hospital after a visit by an unnamed “VIP”, Kerala Health Minister PK Sreemathi finds herself facing allegations of being the visitor responsible for the 17-year-old victim’s death. Sreemathi, who is also a senior leader of the CPM women’s wing, the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), is being so accused by the victim’s parents and the Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF). So far, she has kept only a resolute silence.

In 2004, Shari S. Nair died at the Government Medical College Hospital in Kottayam after giving birth to a girl. VS Achuthanandan, who was the Leader of Opposition then, had met Nair at a private hospital where she had been admitted previously. Achuthanandan told media persons after his meeting that the hospital superintendent had told him the condition of the victim had worsened after a visit by a “VIP”. Achuthanandan claimed the superintendent had refused to disclose the VIP’s identity but vowed to arrest the influential involved and even challenged the then UDF government to trace the “VIP”. The UDF government, led by Oommen Chandy, was accused of protecting suspects in the sex scandal.

The situation has been turned on its head now. Nair’s father has approached Achuthanandan, now the CM, to probe Sreemathi’s role in the incident. “My daughter’s condition deteriorated after Sreemathi visited her. We don’t know her role or what exactly transpired between them, but we want a thorough probe behind by daughter’s death,” Nair’s father CN Surendran said in his petition to Achuthanandan. The Opposition UDF is demanding nothing less than Sreemathi’s resignation.

Nair’s post-mortem report had revealed that there was a high amount of lead in the teenager’s blood. According to AIDWA state secretary KK Shailaja, Sreemathi had called on Nair to enquire about her health. “Such scandalous accusations would prevent women from entering public life. Oommen Chandy, who was shielding all the influential persons accused in the case, is now engaging in character assassination,’’ she said.

Mahila Congress state president Shanimole Usman alleges Sreemathi visited Nair to tell her not to reveal Sreemathi’s association with the son of a senior leader of the Pinarayi Vijayan faction in the CPM. Usman said a probe would uncover the links of the sons of two powerful CPM leaders with Anagha, the daughter of a temple priest who, along with her family, committed suicide after her name figured in the scandal. “If Sreemathi is innocent, why is the CPM opposing an inquiry on her alleged role,’’ Usman asks.

Says Surendran, “Even the CBI denied us justice. Many, including the chief minister, know that most of those arrested were only small fry.” Surendran is now demanding a fresh CBI probe.

The CBI’s chargesheet in Nair’s case says she was lured into a sex racket by individuals on the promise of getting her roles in television serials. The investigation revealed that one Kochumon had introduced the girl to Latha Nair, who was supposed to get her a role in serials and music videos, in August 2003. The chargesheet says Nair was later forced to consume liquor and gang-raped. When she got pregnant, she was referred to a private hospital in Kottayam. She had been diagnosed with an acute intestinal disorder.

No comments: