Kummanam Rajasekharan, BJP (Top) and VT Balram, Congress MLA (Photo/ANI)
Kummanam Rajasekharan, BJP (Top) and VT Balram, Congress MLA (Photo/ANI)

Attempt to sabotage Gold Smuggling case evidence:BJP, Congress on Kerala Secretariat fire incident

ANI | Updated: Aug 26, 2020 06:48 IST

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], Aug 26 (ANI): Both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress held a protest outside Kerala Secretariat on Tuesday and demanded a high-level probe into the fire incident in the protocol office and alleged that it is a conspiracy to destroy evidence in the gold smuggling case.
Leader Of Opposition in state Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala met Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Tuesday over the incident of fire at Kerala Secretariat and demanded an independent probe into the incident.
The opposition parties also alleged that it was was a conspiracy to destroy evidence in connection with the gold smuggling case.
"We fear that there are elements who sabotaged inquiry (of Kerala Gold Smuggling case). There are very important files in the Protocol Office. It does not have any security. Had there been security, it would not have happened," BJP leader Kummanam Rajasekharan told ANI.
"We demand a thorough inquiry, the culprit should be booked immediately. We suspect that there is a very well planned move for sabotaging files in the Protocol Office," he added.
VT Balram, Congress MLA said that party does not believe in the inquiry being carried out by state government into the incident.
"We have demanded a high-level inquiry. Government has set up an official level inquiry with some middle-level IAS officers. We do not believe in it because the role of even the Chief Secretary is questionable. We suspect his involvement," VT Balram said.
"It was under his order that the elected representatives, MLAs were detained and restricted from entering Secretariat premises. We demand that NIA, that is probing Gold Smuggling Case, take note of this and inquire into this incident as well," he added.
The fire broke out on Tuesday evening and smoke was seen coming out one of the floors of the secretariat building. The fire was later doused and no injuries were reported. Briefing reporters about the incident, Chief Secretary Vishwas Mehta said that a comprehensive probe will be carried out.
Both Congress and BJP leaders held a protest outside Kerala Secretariat alleging that fire was not an accident and it was a conspiracy to destroy evidence in connection with the gold smuggling case.
The three key accused in the gold smuggling case -- Sarith PS, Swapna Suresh, and Sandeep Nair -- were sent to judicial custody till August 26 (today) by a Kochi court.
Earlier, the bail application of Swapna Suresh, a key accused in the high-profile Kerala gold smuggling case, was dismissed by a special NIA court and Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) court.
The matter, which pertains to the smuggling of gold in the state through diplomatic channels, had come to light after 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crores, smuggled in a consignment camouflaged as diplomatic baggage, was busted by Customs in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5. (ANI)