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Chandy blocking probe into sex scandal: Veliyam

By Our Staff Reporter

KOLLAM, NOV. 27. The CPI State secretary, Veliyam Bhargavan, has said that the Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy, is the biggest stumbling block in the police investigations into the ice-cream parlour sex scandal. At a meet-the-press programme here today, he said that in the wake of the fresh disclosures by the prime witness in the case, the Industries Minister, P.K. Kunhalikutty, should have been dropped from the Cabinet.

Instead, the Government machinery was being misused to protect Mr. Kunhalikutty who is alleged to have sexually exploited a minor, Mr. Bhargavan alleged. The Opposition would not recognise Mr.Kunhalikutty as a Minister any longer. They would strive to create a situation where Mr. Kunhalikutty will find it difficult to function as a Minister.

CBI probe demanded

Demanding a CBI probe into the ice-cream parlour case, he said that mystery shrouded the State Government's reluctance to drop Mr. Kunhalikutty from the Cabinet. If the Minister had even a little respect for democratic values, he would have resigned. Mr. Kunhalikutty continuing as a Minister was a slur on the State, he said.

A massive demonstration by women will be organised at Thiruvananthapuram to demand the resignation of Mr. Kunhalikutty when the State Assembly meets next month, he said. Mr. Bhargavan wanted to know why the Congress high command, which intervenes into each and every aspect concerning the UDF, was maintaining a puzzling silence on the Kunhalikutty issue.

Law and order

The failure of the law and order system in the State for the past three to four years was the reason for the spurt in cases involving sexual exploitation of minors in the State, he said.

When asked about the CPI leader, Meenakshi Thampan's allegation that the previous LDF Government had not been sincere about investigating the ice-cream parlour case, Mr. Bhargavan said that even that aspect could be included for a probe in the CBI investigation demanded by the Opposition, he said.

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