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Won't Reveal Anything to Those Spreading Lies, Says Kerala Minister over ED's Quiz on FCRA Violations

File photo of Kerala Minister KL Jaleel.

File photo of Kerala Minister KL Jaleel.

He had appeared before the ED in Kochi on Friday in connection with alleged violation of the FCRA in accepting consignments of copies of the Holy Quran brought from UAE through diplomatic channel and his statement was recorded by the agency.

Kerala Minister K T Jaleel on Sunday defended his silence on the ED questioning him over alleged FCRA violations and said he was not prepared to reveal anything to those who were "fabricating lies" and spreading them without a prick to their conscience. The Higher Education Minister made the remarks in a Facebook post amid demands by opposition parties that he should clearly state what information was sought from him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and continuing protests by them, pressing his resignation.

He had appeared before the ED in Kochi on Friday in connection with alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) in accepting consignments of copies of the Holy Quran brought from UAE through diplomatic channel and his statement was recorded by the agency. "Lies and false stories are being spread each day without a prick to their conscience," Jaleel said in the Facebook post.

"What has to be kept under wraps will be concealed, what has to be revealed will be disclosed to whom it has to be divulged. This is the way all "Dharma Yudhams" (war of righteousness) have been won", he said, in response to criticisms that he had concealed information on the ED interrogating him. The minister, who is presently at his home at Valancherry in Malappuram, also released some photographs in the social media showing him meeting people there.

For the third consecutive day, protests were held in various parts of the state by opposition parties demanding Jaleel's resignation. Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of the BJP,took out marches to the minister's house which turned violent with police making a lathi charge to disperse the protesters.

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In Kozhikode, the activists were dispersed using water cannons. Coming out in support of Jaleel, state Law Minister A K Balan alleged the former was being hounded by the opposition.

"The central agency had only sought some information from Jaleel. A notice was sent to him as a private person, not as a minister… The religious books were brought lawfully," he told reporters in Palakkad. He also said Quran was not a banned religious text.

Meanwhile, BJP state president K Surendran alleged the son of another state minister had received 'commission' from gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh over a housing project in Thrissur district and demanded a probe. Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala of Congress said the allegation was 'serious' and also demanded a probe.

first published:September 13, 2020, 19:56 IST