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Kerala BJP President K Surendran Booked by Crime Branch in 2021 Bribery Case

Surendran was accused of bribing a candidate during the 2021 Assembly polls.

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India
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Exactly a year after the Kasaragod First Class Judicial Magistrate Court granted permission to file a case against Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) state President K Surendran in an alleged election bribery case, the Kerala police have filed charges against him under non-bailable charges.

Surendran was accused of bribing a candidate during the 2021 Assembly polls.

During the Assembly polls in 2016, Surendran contested from Manjeshwar and Konni constituencies. In 2016, he lost in Manjeshwar by just 89 votes, and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate K Sundara, whose name is similar to him, got more than 400 votes. However, in 2021, Sundara also filed his nomination but later withdrew it.

Two months after the election, Sundara alleged that the BJP bribed him with Rs 2.5 lakh cash and a mobile phone worth Rs 15,000, and also threatened his family.
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The Case Against K Surendran

The police complaint against Surendran was filed by Left Democratic Front candidate VV Rameshan, based on Sundara’s allegations. A local court then directed the police to register a case against Surendran and two other BJP leaders, according to the Election Commission rules. In September of last year, Surendran was questioned by Crime Branch officials in Kasaragod.

Later, when he was asked to produce his mobile phone, Surendran had said that he does not possess a phone. But it was reportedly found that a mobile phone was still used by him back then.

The Crime Branch also found that some statements given by Surendran were contradictory.

The probe police team, which has submitted its preliminary report, has included charges under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act too, which are non-bailable besides other charges that included bribery to sabotage the elections.

Apart from Surendran, five more local BJP leaders were also indicted by the police.

(Published in arrangement with The News Minute.)

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