Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said that the police have handed over the details of the probe into the Kodakara hawala heist case, allegedly involving the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state leadership, to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) after the central investigation agency sought it. CM Pinarayi, who was replying to an adjournment motion on the issue, said that the ED sought the details on May 27 and the police submitted them on June 1.
However, the hawala heist case, involving BJP leader K Surendran, led to a war of words between the Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan and Pinarayi Vijayan in the state Assembly after the Congress leader asked whether there was a plan on the part of the Left government to compromise the case for the BJP.
CM Pinarayi retorted that his party never had any history of compromise with the BJP and said that all the culprits in this case will be brought before the law.
"We doubt whether the police and the Left government have effectively investigated the source and funding of black money at the behest of the BJP leaders in Kerala. One fine day, the central investigation agencies almost ended the probe in Kerala over the gold smuggling case just before the elections. We doubt whether you both will reach a compromise," Satheesan said.
The adjournment motion was moved by Congress MLA Shafi Parambil, who said that the BJP was trying to destroy the democratic set-up of the country by pumping black money during elections and asked the police to act in an unbiased manner.
However, CM Pinarayi attacked the opposition Congress and pointed out that it was the then Oommen Chandy government which had withdrawn the case against Pravin Togadia. "We all know who are experts in compromise. The case against Praveen Togadiya was withdrawn by the Congress party. We are not worried. We are not from your school of politics. We will not compromise," he said.
The Oommen Chandy government had in 2014 withdrawn a case registered against Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Togadia for his speech in Kozhikode on July 8, 2003.
Pinarayi Vijayan also said that it was the Congress government which had withdrawn the case against Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) workers who had bombed a police constable when there was violence at a college in Thiruvananthapuram.
The Chief Minister also said that the special investigation team is conducting a comprehensive probe into â€˜this serious matterâ€™ of black money.
"We will not allow any culprit to escape the law. If there was any attempt to destroy the democratic set-up of our land, this probe will bring it out too," he said.
Explaining the timeline of the hawala case, the CM noted that there was a complaint filed about a gang which waylaid the car of Shamjeer and fled with Rs 25 lakh. However, when the police questioned Dharmarajan, the person who handed over the money, they found that there was Rs 3.5 crore in the car.
"Further, the police charged sections 412, 212, 120 (B) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The state police have recorded the statements of 96 witnesses. Twenty persons were arrested in connection with the case and were remanded to judicial custody. The police have also found Rs 1,01,12,001; out of that Rs 3.5 crore and 347 grams gold was purchased using the stolen money," Pinarayi said.
Attacking the union government on the issue, the CM said that the November 8, 2016 demonetisation which the BJP claimed as a step to eliminate black money, had only affected the unorganised and common people of the country.
"The union government said that through demonetisation, the cash-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio could be reduced to 6% from the earlier 12%. However, now five years have passed, the currency as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) is 14," Pinarayi said in the Assembly