Suryanelli gangrape victim waits for justice eight years on

There was no candle vigil to support her when she was gangraped by more than 40 men for over 40 days in different locations in Kerala and Tamil Nadu in January-February 1996. Only lewd comments welcomed her when she came for the trial. The police investigations into shocking rape case were all a farce to find loopholes to save the accused. When the High Court of Kerala headed by Justice KA Gafoor and R Basant acquitted 35 accused in the Suryanelli rape case on January 20, 2005, there was no hue and cry. The division bench of the High Court observed that the girl, who was 17 at the time of rape, had consented to the sexual act with each of the men, that the victim was “not an unwilling partner” and that she had enough opportunity to escape from the custody of the accused. The court had found only Advocate Dharmarajan, the prime accused, guilty and reduced his term of jail to five years and fine from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5,000. Even then, there was no public sympathy for the victim in the 100 percent literate Kerala.


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