The two leaders are currently in a very public spat over the ATM heist that has rocked the state

Kerala a haven for criminals Pinarayi and Chennithala slug it out
news Saturday, August 13, 2016 - 16:03

On Friday, former Kerala Home Minister and current Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala told Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in a Facebook post, not to blame him for publishing a truthful opinion on the state of crime in Kerala. It was useless to blame the mirror for reflecting a harsh reality, he told the CM.

Chennithala was responding to Pinarayi’s post asking him to withdraw his earlier statements in the wake of the Kerala police having zeroed in on the culprits who had carried out the daring ATM heist that came to light on Monday. Chennithala had said that, “Kerala had become a haven for burglars and thieves under the LDF rule.” Pinarayi insisted that the statement be modified to, “Kerala is now unsafe for criminals both native and foreign.”

On Thursday, Pinarayi had congratulated the state police on Facebook for nabbing the prime suspect, Marian Gabriel – a Romanian national – from Mumbai by Tuesday night itself. He had also made use of the opportunity to get back at Chennithala for his earlier ‘haven’ remark.

Chennithala was in no mood to let this pass, and came up with an elaborate reply in which he politely reminded the Chief Minister that nabbing one of the five culprits involved in the ATM heist was not something to go gaga over, as the other yet-to-be caught accomplices were still looting unsuspecting customers of the bank using the stolen data.

He was also quick to point out that the ATM kiosk targeted by the criminals was located right under the nose of the state police headquartered nearby.

Chennithala then goes on to offer a point-by-point rebuttal of charges of police inefficiency, including in the Jisha murder case, when he had helmed the Home Ministry under the previous UDF regime.

Chennithala emphasises the fact that 58 murders had happened in the two months since the present Left government came into power, and that the police are yet to make an arrest in the bomb blast at the Kollam Collectorate on June 15.

This – he feels – belies the sudden spurt in efficiency of the Kerala police as claimed by Pinarayi. He even goes on to blame the LDF for reinstating all the ‘criminals’ that were driven out of the state during ‘Operation Kubera’ and ‘Operation Surakhsha’ that were undertaken during the previous UDF rule.

Chennithala ends his scathing response to Pinarayi with a colloquial proverb that goes: “Furiously breaking one’s looking-glass because one’s facial reflection refuses to improve, is useless.”


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