Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan has said the developments in the Nedumbasserry gold smuggling case would point to definite attempts in high places to topple a clean investigation into the case.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, he reiterated his demand for handing over the case to National Investigation Agency (NIA) since there were reports about extremist links in the case.

At the same time, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) should probe the actions of the Customs officials who had helped the smuggling of gold, Mr. Achuthanandan said.

“There had been reports that they [the gold smugglers] had close connections with the Chief Minister’s family members and his personal staff members Jikkumon and RK, Union Minister E. Ahmed, two Congress MPs, two Ministers belonging to the Indian Union Muslim League and some top film personalities. The accused people are using these connections to torpedo the case against them,” Mr. Achuthanandan alleged.

He said the Customs officials who had dared to move against Faiz, one of the men arrested in the smuggling case, had been transferred from their posts. Only an officer of the rank of Preventive Officer had been placed under suspension in connection with the case, although three top officials too were interrogated. Customs Deputy Commissioner S. Madhavan, who had given all help to the smugglers, had still not been placed under suspension. For four days after the arrest of Faiz, neither his house, nor the residence of the Customs Deputy Commissioner was searched by the investigators. This was to give them time to destroy evidence,” the Leader of the Opposition said.

Asked about the links the accused smuggler allegedly had with certain leaders of the CPI(M), Mr. Achuthanandan said such connections, if they existed, too should be brought out by the investigation. “Let people know who are the enemies of the people and the nation,” he said.