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Two of Chandy’s office staff shifted out

Two of Chandy’s office staff shifted out

Thiruvananthapuram: With CPI-M led LDF demanding a judicial probe into charges of links between his office and a financial fraud accused, Chief Minister Oomen Chandy Friday informed the State Assembly that two staff allegedly involved in the matter have been removed from their duties.

"I have received a preliminary report of the investigating officer. Based on that, I am removing two of my staff members, and further action would be based on the report of the probe, once investigation is completed," Chandy said in the assembly Friday.

Chandy's personal assistant Teny Jopan - from whose mobile phone nearly 70 calls were made to the woman in a month's time - and his gunman Salim Raj have been asked to step down till the probe is completed.

Putting pressure on Chandy over the issue, LDF members protested and moved to the well of the House and later walked out when their demand for judicial probe was rejected.

The Left had taken up the issue following the revelation by a TV channel a few days back of calls made to Saritha S. Nair, a woman in police custody for involvement in several cheating cases.

The TV channel revealed that the woman had easy access to Jopan and others in Chandy's office.

Saritha Nair, since 2000, is alleged to have been involved in more than 13 cases of cheating. Her latest escapade was conducted under the name of Team Solar, a company believed to have cheated numerous people of crores of rupees on the promise of supplying solar panels and putting up windmill farms.

The matter has been raised in the State Assembly for the past three days. Deputy Leader of the Opposition Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, said after Chandy's statement in the house that this action alone would not suffice.

"Chandy should step down and order a judicial probe into the entire episode. The so-called ongoing probe by an additional director general of police will not reveal anything. We demand that you should go; and we want a judicial probe," Kodiyeri told Chandy, leading the Opposition out of the House.

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