Swapna Suresh alleges threat to arrest her

Swapna Suresh, an accused in the diplomatic channel gold smuggling case.

Swapna Suresh, an accused in the diplomatic channel gold smuggling case. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Swapna Suresh, an accused in the diplomatic gold smuggling case, on Wednesday told the Kerala High Court that a person close to the Chief Minister had threatened her with arrest in the case registered against her on a complaint of former Minister and MLA K.T. Jaleel unless she withdraws her statements against the Chief Minister.

In their anticipatory bail petition, Swapna and Sarith P.S., another accused in the case, alleged that “on 08.06.2022, a person named Shaji Kiran came to the office of the petitioners in Palakkad around 1.30 p.m. He was introduced to the petitioner by Mr. Sivasankar as someone very close to Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan and Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and he, being one of the directors of Gospel for Asia, an organisation of K.P. Yohannan, is the person who is handling the investment of the Chief Minister as well as Kodiyeri Balakrishnan abroad.”

He also informed the petitioners that he had come as instructed by Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan so as to settle the issue created by the first petitioner by giving 164 statement. The petitioners said he came to their office on a Toyota vehicle bearing registration No. UP-41 R 0500. He started pressurising them to surrender before the Chief Minister stating that a case had already been registered against the first petitioner (Swapna Suresh) and if they did not openly state that she had given 164 statement at the instigation of the petitioners’ present counsel and the RSS and the BJP, the petitioners would face dire consequences to the effect that they would not see daylight.

They were allegedly threatened that cases would be registered against them in such a way they would have to remain in jail for long.

According to the petitioners, Mr. Kiran also told them that though the case had been only against Swapna Suresh and though the offences registered against them were only 153 and 120 B of IPC, more charges would be heaped on them including the second petitioner also as an accused. The police would also take both of them into custody.

The petitioners added “his (Mr. Kiran’s) demand is that the 1st petitioner should record an audio/video stating that the facts contained in the statement given under Section 164 Cr. PC is false and that she was compelled to do it. He gave the petitioners time up to 10 a.m. on 09.06.2002, and then informed them that on 09.06.2002, he, along with the DGP, will be present before the Chief Minister and at that time, he will have to give the statement of the first petitioner to the Chief Minister, failing which serious consequences will be followed.”

The Palakkad Vigilance unit had taken Sarith into custody on July 8 without notice or revealing their identity, reportedly for questioning in the corruption case in the Life Mission project implementation. The only information the four Vigilance officers wanted was about the forces behind Swapna in giving the 164 statement before the court. Sarith was let off by noon but they seized his phone.

The petitioners had recorded some portion of the conversation of Shaji Kiran, one of them said.

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Printable version | Jun 10, 2022 1:25:44 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/swapna-suresh-alleges-threat-to-arrest-herk/article65510954.ece