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    Cong suspects BJP,CPI-M hand in glove in gold smuggling case

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    Cong suspects BJP,CPI-M hand in glove in gold smuggling case
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    Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress party in Kerala on Wednesday expressed doubts of a BJP and CPI-M nexus in the ongoing gold smuggling case, keeping in view the upcoming polls.

    This is the second time in the past few days that state Congress president Mullapally Ramachandran came out in the open on this topic.

    "By now the NIA has questioned the most powerful IAS officer (now under suspension) in the state, M. Sivasankar, by virtue of the post he held --secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, but despite evidence of the links with the now arrested (Swapna Suresh), nothing is happening. This clearly shows that the BJP and the CPI-M are hand in glove and this is done to destroy all the evidence in the case, with the upcoming polls in the state," said Ramachandran.

    The local body polls are scheduled to be held in October and the assembly polls in May next year.

    The gold smuggling case first surfaced when P.S. Sarith, a former employee of the UAE Consulate here, was arrested by the Customs on July 5 when he was allegedly facilitating the smuggling of 30 kg gold in diplomatic baggage from Dubai to Thiruvananthapuram.

    The case became more murky when the name of Swapna Suresh, a former employee of the UAE Consulate and later employed with the IT Department, surfaced in the case. Her links with Sivasankar came up during the investigation.

    Another accused, Sandip Nair of Kochi, was arrested on the charge of direct involvement in smuggling.

    The NIA in the past one week has questioned Sivasankar for over 24 hours spread over three days, once in Thiruvananthapuram and for two days at Kochi.

    "Fail to understand the logic, why the NIA is blind to facts on how Sivasankar and the now arrested Swapna were thick friends. The two arrested persons Swapna and Sandip drove from Kerala where the CPI-M rules and they arrived in BJP ruled Karnataka. Could this drive go unnoticed and it happened because of the help they got from the bigwigs. Both the state and the Centre are not keen to order a CBI probe in the case. And none should forget, there was an attempt to even disband the Customs team which busted the smuggling gang. So all in all everything in the case now appears mysterious," added Ramachandran.

    Ramachandran also pointed out the silence of the Kerala Police which has done nothing in this case.

    Meanwhile, the NIA is now waiting to take possession of the visuals of the CCTV placed at the State Secretariat to find out if the gold smugglers had easy access to the centre of power in the state.

     

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