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Agencies Conducting 'Fishing & Roving' Enquiries in the Name of Gold Smuggling Probe: Kerala CM to PM

File photo of Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan.

File photo of Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan.

Pinarayi Vijayan added that orchestrated campaigns to defame the political leadership of the government of Kerala are being carried out in a 'consistent manner' seemingly with the cooperation of certain officials of the investigating agencies.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written a letter to Prime Minister Narenda Modi, saying central agencies are conducting "fishing and roving enquiries", during the ongoing probe into the gold smuggling case. He had warned earlier this month that he would write to the PM to express the state government's displeasure on the course of the investigation.

In the letter, Vijayan said, "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 letter came a day after the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) got a big victory in the Kerala local body polls.

The opposition has been raising allegations of corruption and the gold smuggling case against the government. However, the strategy failed to pay off electorally.

The letter states that central agencies are doing everything else except conducting an effective and coordinated enquiry into the gold smuggling case.

"Even after five months, neither the source nor end utilisation of gold smuggled has been unravelled. No headway in apprehending the suspects who are abroad. Instead, the aim of the central agencies seems to be tarnishing the image of the state government," Vijayan said in the letter.

The Enforcement Directorate, the Customs Department and the National Investigation Agency are conducting separate probes into the alleged gold smuggling racket that was busted with the seizure of Rs 15 crore worth of the precious metal from the 'diplomatic baggage' of the UAE Consulate at the Thiruvananthapuram airport on July 5.

Vijayan added that orchestrated campaigns to defame the political leadership of the government of Kerala are being carried out in a "consistent manner" seemingly with the cooperation of certain officials of the investigating agencies.

In the letter CM said that the statements given by accused/witnesses are being selectively leaked to electronic and print media.

"This is a serious governance issue for the state government and does not augur well in a democratic and federal polity," he wrote.

Vijayan sought the intervention of the PM to take corrective steps at least at this juncture.

first published:December 17, 2020, 21:23 IST
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