Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing central agencies of trying to tarnish the image of the Kerala government during the ongoing probe into the gold smuggling case.
Vijayan has sought the Prime Minister's intervention so that the "corrective" steps are taken at this juncture.
“From the facts and circumstances, it is clear that the central agencies are conducting fishing and roving enquiries to find out whether there is any chance to allege any offence in a situation where the agencies have not been able to find anything specific against the state government. All norms of fairness and propriety are being violated,” the three-page letter dated December 16 reads.
The letter comes close on the heels of local body election results that gave a boost to Vijayan with his party LDF emerging victorious.
The Chief Minister recalled his July 8 letter to the Prime Minister in which he had sought an effective and coordinated probe into the gold smuggling case by the central agencies.
The gold smuggling racket was uncovered on July 5 after the seizure of 30 kg of the metal from a consignment addressed to the United Arab Emirates consulate in the capital. A multi-agency team headed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is probing the case and 34 people have been arrested so far.
READ: Gold smuggling case; agencies probing alleged import of holy books from UAE 'without proper documentation'
Vijayan alleged that instead of conducting an effective and coordinated enquiry into the gold smuggling case, the central agencies have been leaking selected statements given by accused/witnesses to the media.
“Orchestrated campaign to defame the political leadership of the Government of Kerala is being carried out in a consistent manner, seemingly with the cooperation of certain officials of the investigating agencies,” he said.
Vijayan’s additional private secretary CM Raveendran appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on December 17 for questioning in connection with the case. His other secretary, M Sivasankar, is already in judicial custody in connection with the case.
The Kerala Chief Minister noted that even after five months of investigation, no headway has been made in apprehending the suspects who are abroad. “Instead, the aim of the central agencies seems to be tarnishing the image of the state government,” the letter read.