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Kerala Gold Smuggling Case: Congress Demands CM Pinarayi Vijayan's Resignation

Congress workers marched to Collectorates across Kerala, shouting slogans against the CM and the LDF government.

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Kerala Gold Smuggling Case: Congress Demands CM Pinarayi Vijayan's Resignation
i

On Friday, Opposition party activists in Kerala continued their protest marches – which led to altercations with the police – demanding Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's resignation in the wake of the fresh allegations made against him by Swapna Suresh, the key accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case.

Activists from the Congress and Youth Congress marched to Collectorates and district offices across the state, shouting slogans against Vijayan and the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government.

In several districts, including Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Kannur, and others, police lathicharged the protesters and used water cannons to disperse them.

Two police officers were reportedly injured in an altercation, while Congress activists sustained injuries in the lathicharge. Protesters allegedly threw stones at police officers in Kottayam.

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The state-level demonstration was launched by the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief, K Sudhakaran, in front of the Secretariat, while the protest in Ernakulam was led by the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, VD Satheesan.

Protests were led by top party officials, MLAs, and former ministers at several locations.

Meanwhile, a police notice served on the KPCC president, which warned of serious legal action if any untoward incident occurs during the protest march in the politically volatile Kannur region, sparked a debate.

Pinarayi Vijayan's Involvement

On Tuesday, 7 June, Swapna Suresh, a major defendant in the Kerala gold-smuggling case, levelled allegations against Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

She claimed she had informed the court about the chief minister's wife Kamala, daughter Veena, former minister KT Jaleel, additional private secretary C M Raveendran, and former bureaucrat Nalini Netto's involvement in the gold smuggling case.

The Case

The issue concerns the smuggling of 30 kg gold (worth Rs 15 crore), which was seized at the Thiruvananthapuram airport on 5 July 2020. The gold was inside a diplomatic baggage addressed to the UAE consulate.

The smuggling racket was investigated separately by the National Investigation Agency, Enforcement Directorate, and Customs.

Several people have been arrested in connection with the case, including Sivasankar, the former Principal Secretary to the Kerala Chief Minister, and former UAE embassy officials Swapna Suresh and Sarith PS.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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