Alappuzha (Kerala) [India], September 17 (ANI): Questioning of the Kerala Higher Education Minister KT Jaleel by the National Investigative Agency (NIA) is a "serious matter", Opposition leader R Chennithala said on Thursday, adding that the United Democratic Front (UDF) is planning a "vigorous agitation".
"The NIA questioning KT Jaleel is a very serious matter. The NIA normally probes cases related to sedition and terrorism. The public is disgusted with the Education Minister's involvement in this gold smuggling case and the UDF is planning a more vigorous agitation," Chennithala told ANI.
He further raised questions against the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. "Why is the Chief Minister still protecting him (Jaleel)? How long will he continue to do so? I do not understand why he is so evasive of our questions."
Jaleel on Wednesday had visited the NIA office in connection with the Kerala gold smuggling case, days after he was quizzed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
On Tuesday, the ED had said that Jaleel has not given any "satisfactory" statements in the matter.
Several protests have been held across the State by the Opposition parties and other organisations in the recent past, seeking the resignation of the Higher Education Minister.
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)