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Gold smuggling case: Kerala minister Jaleel questioned by NIA, Opposition intensifies protests

By: The Press Reporter Internet Desk | Kochi |

September 17, 2020 2:03:53 pm


Jaleel arrived in a personal automotive belonging to a former CPM MLA round 6 am Thursday

The Opposition Congress and the BJP stepped up protests throughout Kerala, hours after KT Jaleel, state minister for greater schooling and minority welfare, appeared earlier than the Nationwide Investigation Company (NIA) officers in Kochi in reference to alleged FCRA violation and the probe into the Thiruvananthapuram gold smuggling case.

Jaleel arrived in a personal automotive belonging to a former CPM MLA round 6 am Thursday on the NIA workplace in Kochi purportedly to dodge the native media which has been following the minister’s actions for the previous few days. The questioning is underway as of 1 pm, with no statements but from both the minister’s workplace or the NIA officers.

In the meantime, protests led mainly by the Congress and the BJP flared up throughout Kerala, calling for Jaleel’s resignation. At a number of locations in Palakkad, Kollam, Kozhikode, Kottayam and Kannur districts, members of the Youth Congress, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, Mahila Morcha and KSU (pupil outfit of Congress) clashed with the police as they took out marches to authorities workplaces.

At a number of locations, the police resorted to using tear gasoline, water cannons and lathi-charge to disperse protesters. In Palakkad, Congress MLA VT Balram was amongst these injured in clashes with police.

Congress Chief of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala and BJP state president Okay Surendran reiterated requires Jaleel’s dismissal from the cupboard on grounds of violating protocol as a minister. Chennithala additionally demanded Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s resignation alleging the federal government had no purpose to stay in energy anymore.

Nevertheless, Vijayan has resisted such calls for insisting that Jaleel will not be responsible.

“Issues are being manoeuvred in a approach that isn’t appropriate for Kerala. A personality generally known as Jaleel is being created to serve the agenda of IUML and BJP alike. Everybody ought to realise that that is Kerala,’’ he mentioned Tuesday, referring to the Muslim League (IUML), an ally of the Congress.

The NIA’s grilling of Jaleel comes days after he was interrogated by officers of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which has been probing allegations of cash laundering in reference to the gold smuggling racket busted at Thiruvananthapuram airport in July this yr. The minister is underneath probe for accepting consignments of non secular texts together with the Holy Quran by the UAE consulate that would fall underneath the violation of International Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010. Since gold was discovered to have smuggled into the nation by the diplomatic baggage a number of instances, officers consider it may have even been introduced in underneath the guise of non secular texts.

An ED official had informed the indianexpress.com that the minister’s assertion had been recorded as a part of information-gathering within the smuggling case.

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