Ice cream parlour case diary embarrasses UDF
Thiruvananthapuram: In an apparent embarrassment to ruling UDF in Kerala, the case diary relating to the "ice cream parlour sabotage case" has indications that Indian Union Muslim League leader and Industries Minister P K Kunhalikutty tried to influence witnesses in his favour.
The case pertains to allegations that an ice cream parlour at Kozhikode beach was used as a cover for running a sex racket in the late 1990s.
The copy of the case dairy has been handed over to Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan as per a recent directive of the Kerala High Court.
As per the investigation report, witnesses have in their statements to police alleged Kunhalikutty tried to persuade them to change their original depositions in his favour.
They said they had also received financial benefits to retract from their earlier statements which went against Kunalikutty, through his relative K A Rauf.
Though Kunhalikutty never became an accused in the case, he had come under a cloud in the wake of the scandal and had to quit a ministry then.
The case was back in focus after Rauf fell out with Kunhalikutty two years ago and alleged he had worked to sabotage the case on behalf of his estranged relative.
Based on Rauf's open claim, the then LDF government headed by Achuthanandan had ordered an investigation into the alleged sabotage of the case.
Achuthanandan had recently approached the court seeking a copy of the case dairy. Though government initially oppsed his plea, it later withdrew the objections, facilitating the CPI(M) leader to get a copy.
Meanwhile, IUML General Secretary K P A Majeed rejected the charges against Kunhalikutty and said it was evident from witnesses' statements that Rauf was behind the moves to malign Kunhalikutty's image.