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Opposition intensifies protests demanding KT Jaleel’s resignation

This is the first time that a minister in Kerala was being interrogated by a national agency in a case related to smuggling.

Statesman News Service | Thiruvananthapuram |

The CPI-M and the LDF government in Kerala have found themselves in a tight spot after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) grilled state higher education minister KT Jaleel for two hours at its Kochi office on Friday in the sensational gold smuggling case.

The fact that a minister in the Pinarayi Vijayan government was subjected to the Enforcement Directorate grilling has put the CPI-M and the LDF government in an embarrassing situation. This is the first time that a minister in Kerala was being interrogated by a national agency in a case related to smuggling.

Though CPI-M is putting a brave face in open, it is really in a fix, as it has to defend one of its ministers, who was subjected to the ED interrogation.

As the state is going for local body and Assembly polls within a short span of time, the Opposition UDF and BJP have intensified the demand for the resignation of Jaleel after his grilling by the ED.

Kerala on Saturday witnessed widespread protests by Congress, Muslim League and BJP demanding the resignation of minister K T Jaleel who was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the Thiruvananthapuram gold smuggling case.Congress and BJP workers went on the warpath, demanding the resignation of KT Jaleel.

Despite heavy downpour, the Youth Congress, YuvaMorcha, BJP, Congress and the Youth League staged protests at various places, including Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Thrissur, Malappuram, Idukki, Kollam, and Kottayam. The protests turned violent in many places with police using water cannons and lathi charging the protesters.

BJP also observed a “black day” on Tuesday to protest the police action against its activists on Friday night before the secretariat here.

Meanwhile, BJP state president K Surendranhad on Saturday raised fresh allegations against K T Jaleel. Surendranalleged thatJaleel benefited from crores of rupees in flood relief donations provided to various religious and charity organisations in the state from abroad.

“Crores of rupees have flown into the state in the form of donations for flood relief after the Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues visited Gulf countries. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is probing this aspect as well as Jaleel’s disproportionate assets,” K Surendran said

Kerala higher education minister KT Jaleel was interrogated by the Enforcement Directorate( ED) on Friday morning at its Kochi office in connection with the controversial gold smuggling case.

The ED is likely to interrogate KT Jaleel again in connection with the gold smuggling case, as there are discrepancies between the statements of the minister and details collected by ED

The interrogation lasted for about two and a half hours. The minister reached the ED office in a private vehicle. It has been reported that Jaleel proceeded to ED office in Kochi in a private vehicle after parking his official vehicle at an industrialist’s place in Aroor.

Days after arrest of Swapna Suresh and others in the gold smuggling case, Jaleel’s name surfaced for his alleged association with Swapna.

It has been reported that Swapna, contacted Jaleel several times over the phone. While explaining about the calls, the minister had stated that they were made in regard to the food kits (Ramzan kits) worth Rs 5 Lakh sponsored by UAE Consular General.