Kerala

UDF walks out of the Assembly alleging government protection for criminal gangs

Congress leader Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan (right) with senior party leaders M. M. Hassan and Oommen Chandy. File photo  

Members of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) opposition walked out of the Assembly on Wednesday, July 28, 2021, denouncing the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government for "allowing political criminals beholden to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] to operate with impunity" from inside the Kannur central prison.

The UDF was angered that Speaker M. B. Rajesh had denied Congress legislator Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan leave to move an adjournment motion to discuss the ruling party's alleged criminal nexus with gold smugglers against the backdrop of the recent "murder" of suspected carrier and Kannur resident, Rameez.

Mr. Radhakrishnan said Rameez had died in a "dubious" hit-and-run incident hours before he was supposed to depose to the Customs, Preventive, against his "CPI(M)" handlers, particularly one Arjun Ayenki.

He said the nexus was clear. Ayenki, a CPI(M) sympathiser in Kannur and accused in the Karipur gold smuggling case, had till recently hosted a trendy pro-CPI(M) 'fan page" on social media, possibly to attract impressionable local youth as potential recruits for "illegal purposes".

Mr. Radhakrishnan said Ayenki had an army of carriers, "sparrows" in smuggling parlance, to sneak gold into the country from Dubai via the Karipur airport. "The gang never used the same carrier twice", Mr. Radhakrishnan said.

DYFI leader Satheesh Chembalottu, Shoaib murder case accused and CPI(M) worker, Akash Thillankeri, and Revolutionary Marxist Party leader T. P. Chandrasekharan's assassins, "Kodi" Suni and others, were Ayenki's partners in crime, Mr. Radhakrishnan alleged.

He said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was afraid to mention even their names in the Assembly lest the accused reveal everything about the party's involvement in political murders, hawala deals and gold smuggling in North Kerala.

Mr. Radhakrishnan pointed out that Ayenki had threatened to blurt out the truth about CPI(M) leaders in Kannur of the party disavowed him.

The silence of the CPI(M) and Mr. Vijayan following Ayenki's threat was ominous, he said.

Opposition Leader V. D. Satheeshan said CPI(M) "hit teams" controlled gold smuggling and hawala operations inside the Kannur prison. They plotted murders, planned ambushes and highway robberies and ordered hits from the Central Prison, Kannur. The prison provided the mafia with a perfect alibi for their crimes. Jailors ensured Kodi Suni and the CPI(M) gang had access to mobile phones, hotel food, liquor, friends and relatives.

Mr. Vijayan said border enforcement was a Central subject. The State had no jurisdiction over Customs or airport security. Nevertheless, the police had cracked down hard on the spillover effect of gold smuggling, such as violent gang-feuds, street crime, highway ambushes and waylaying of cash and gold carriers. He said the police had concluded prima facie that Rameez's murder was an accident. The UDF had attempted to scandalise the government without a shred of evidence, he said.


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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 8:35:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/udf-walks-out-of-the-assembly-alleging-government-protection-for-criminal-gangs/article35578104.ece

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