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Kerala gold smuggling case: Chennithala slams Pinarayi govt, says it's trying to save accused

The Opposition leader also blamed the lapses of the health department for the spurt in COVID-19 cases

Published: 11th July 2020 02:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th July 2020 02:48 PM   |  A+A-

UDF chairman Ramesh Chennithala

UDF chairman Ramesh Chennithala (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala has shot off a letter to the DGP Loknath Behera with a copy marked to the Valiyathura SHO urging the police to register an FIR under CrPC 154 in the gold smuggling case.

Chennithala lamented that the police inaction has led the second accused in the gold smuggling case, Swapna Suresh, to file for anticipatory bail. At a press meet held at Cantonment House, the Opposition leader came down heavily on the Chief Minister alleging that he tried to make the gold smuggling case a mere Customs case.

Chennithala alleged that the image built up by the Chief Minister has come down like a pack of cards with people now convinced of the corruption allegations raised by the Opposition. He urged that the police should file an FIR under Section 154 of the CrPC which gives a choice to the informant to furnish information orally or in writing. If the information is disclosed orally, then the report must be generated in writing by the police officer himself or under his direction. The report must be read out to the informant. Chennithala reminded the police force that it functions as per the CrPC and IPC which reveals the LDF government’s lapse in taking up the case.

“Pinarayi Vijayan and the LDF government failed to file a FIR against the culprits behind the gold smuggling case as they wanted to save the tainted former IT secretary M Sivasankar and the second accused, Swapna Suresh. Moreover, by not filing the FIR, the accused, Swapna got the protection against forging of documents and impersonation. There has been a concerted effort from the government to protect the culprits,” said Chennithala.

He also blamed the lapses of the health department for the spurt in COVID-19 cases. The Opposition leader rued the lack of institutional and home quarantine facilities which enabled the pandemic to shoot up. If not for the apathy of the health department officials, people in Poonthura would not have ventured out into the streets demanding food and essentials. Chennithala said he spoke to the CM over phone urging him to provide essential food items to the people in Poonthura.

“The Opposition had always held protests against the LDF government keeping in mind the safety protocols of COVID-19. If there had been a lapse from our side, we had corrected our party workers. Pinarayi is not going to walk away from the gold smuggling case by putting the blame on the spurt in the COVID-19 on us. As Opposition, we will fight against the LDF government on the gold smuggling case with safety protocols in place,” added Chennithala.

Thiruvananthapuram MLA, VS Sivakumar, also attended the press meet along with the Opposition leader. He highlighted the issue of CPM party workers instigating the crowd in Poonthura on Friday which saw them protesting against the government.

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