THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the heart rates of many leaders in Opposition had increased as the National Investigation Agency (NIA) decided to widen the scope of the gold smuggling case. The protest raised by Opposition against the government was a diversion tactic as a wider probe would put some of the leaders in trouble, according to Pinarayi. He criticised the protest as it would harm people during a pandemic and the state would take stringent action against it as a last resort.
He welcomed the quick response by the Centre to act on the gold smuggling case after the state sought its intervention. “I think the Centre has intervened effectively by handing over the investigation to NIA. But the state did not have any role in choosing the agency,” he said.
He rejected the allegation that police were not ready to hand over the CCTV visuals to the probe agency. “The fake news of denial came much before the agency actually asked for the visuals. The state will offer all support for the investigation,” he said.