Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala High Court has ordered an investigation by the NIA following arrest of a BSF Commandant at the Indo-Bangladesh border on charges of smuggling of hawala money, weapons, narcotic drugs, etc.
Justice B Sudheendra Kumar directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to carry out a thorough probe in coordination with the CBI, which had been investigating the case so far.
The judge took a grim view of the fact that arrested BSF Commandant Jibu D Mathew was in constant touch with one Bishu Sheik, an international smuggler who is wanted by Indian agencies over terror charges.
The petitioner, being the Commandant of BSF, was entrusted with the task of protecting and safeguarding the interest of the nation. However, the petitioner instead of safeguarding the interest of the nation, accepted bribe and permitted the smugglers to cross the border with smuggled items, including narcotic drugs and weapons," said the HC in a recent order.
The court was informed by the CBI that the investigations conducted so far had revealed that Mathew helped the terrorists by permitting them to smuggle Hawala money, weapons, etc.
At this, the judge noted: "Considering the nature and gravity of the offences alleged against the petitioner, I am of the view that an extensive investigation by the National Investigation Agency, to find out as to whether the petitioner was involved in any act of betraying the nation by assisting the terrorists and smugglers, is necessary."
The court said it expects that the authorities concerned will conduct a detailed investigation with regard to the above-said aspects at the earliest, taking into consideration the interest of the nation.
Justice Kumar further dismissed the bail plea by Mathew, saying his release could be a threat to the nation in view of the prima facie charges against him.
Mathew, Commandant of 83 Battalion of Border Security Force (BSF), was arrested from Aleppey on January 30. He was allegedly carrying a suitcase with more than Rs 45 lakh in it - - which the CBI alleged to be a part of the bribe money. The special court had remanded him to custody, prompting him to move the High Court for bail.