Kerala has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, since the last few weeks. From the rise of Coronavirus and Zikavirus cases to the exit of Kitex Group, to general lawlessness – it seems the state is in a chaotic environment.
The latest issue in the state is the politicization of law enforcement agencies. As per media reports, Sarith PS, an accused in Kerala gold smuggling scam, is being tortured by the state police officials to name BJP and Congress leaders in the case.
It is well known that Kerala gold scam was executed under the nose of the Communist government and many senior officials from CM’s office were complicit in it. But now the Kerala police officials now seem to be trying to shift all the blame on opposition leaders by torturing people like Sarith, to give statement in favour of their whims and fancies.
Now, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has requested for protection for the accused to NIA court, and the court ordered the same.
On the other hand, the Superintendent alleged that the accused, Sarith PS and Ramees KT, were not following prison rules. He submitted a report before Special NIA Court, Principal Sessions Court, and Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) Court in Kochi.
As per the Superintendent’s report, “Ramees was seen smoking something in the backyard of the prison building. When Ramees was smoking, Sarith stood in front of the cell to observe whether any officials are coming towards the area. The CCTV visuals confirmed this fact. Ramees had received a parcel a few days back. It is observed that some items banned in the prison were found in his parcel. Noticing this, the prison officials refused to hand over the parcel to Ramees. An argument broke out between Ramees and the officials over the incident. The report was prepared after examining CCTV visuals on July 5.”
The gold smuggling case of Kerala came to light in July 2020 and by now, more than 30 accused have been arrested. TFI reported that the scam was being used to finance terror operations in the country. As various reports surfaced regarding the increasing number of radicalized youth joining terrorist organizations in Kerala, funding through illegal financial channels seems evident. 30 kilograms of gold worth Rs 15 crores seized by the Customs department was found in a diplomatic cargo addressed to the UAE consulate General Office in Thiruvananthapuram.
The case took political turn when the names of many senior Communist party politicians were revealed in the case. Swapna Suresh, the prime suspect of the case, named CM Vijayan as well as 3 other cabinet ministers, in the case.
Suresh also claimed that the speaker of the house, P Sreeramakrishnan, was well-aware of the ongoing gold smuggling. The customs department recorded her statement under Section 164 Cr.P.C. and Section 108 of the Customs Act. Swapna Suresh was a former executive secretary at the UAE Consulate-General Office in Thiruvananthapuram.