Kerala gold smuggling scam: Swapna Suresh approaches Karnataka High Court challenging filing of FIR

Kerala: Kerala gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh moved the high court seeking to quash the conspiracy case filed against her by ex- state minister K T Jaleel last week and central forces’ protection.

In her petition, Swapna reiterated her charges against the CM Pinarayi Vijayan, his family members, and former ministers, including Jaleel and IAS officers, alleging their role in the gold smuggling case.

She said the latest case was a pressure tactic to make her withdraw the statement she gave to a court under 164 of the CrPC and top police officers and other middlemen were conspiring to silence her. She also cited the sudden removal of vigilance and additional director general of police M R Ajith Kumar after his role in the conspiracy came out.

“My crime is that I told truth. That too, I made it before a magistrate. Is it a crime to give a confidential statement in the court?” she said after coming out of the high court.

Swapna filed another petition in the court seeking central forces’ protection, saying that she lost faith in the state police and alleged that cops were stalking her. “Senior officers were involved in the move to silence me. And the mediator Shaj Kiran came to me through top officials. He’s yet to be arrested,” she said. She reiterated that she stated 164 as her life was in danger and was pressurised not to take big names.

“During my time in the jail, I was tortured and forced to sign many papers by a senior jail official, due to which I suffered a heart attack and later, fits. I have no political connection or affiliation, and have no plan to denigrate any person or damage their image,” she said.

After she recorded her statement and talked to the media last week, Jaleel lodged a complaint alleging she conspired with others, and gave a wrong statement and spread incorrect news to the media to incite a riot and weaken the government in power. She was later booked under sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and 153 (provocation with the intent to cause riot) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Meanwhile, the state witnessed protests seeking the resignation of the CM. Many Youth Congress, Youth League and Yuva Morcha workers were injured when they were baton-charged by police for showing black flags at the CM in north Kerala. In some places, CPI(M) workers attacked protestors before the police.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) held a press conference in Delhi which was addressed by two ministers, Rajiv Chandrasekhar and V Muraleedharan.

“There is an unprecedented crisis in Kerala. The CM must stop intimidating a woman who stated before a court,” said Chandrasekhar adding things unfolding in the state were quite unheard of. “Even umbrellas are not allowed in his meeting. It seems he is more fascist than Hitler. People who always take the moral high ground on rights issues should see these rights violations in Kerala,” said Muraleedharan.

But the CM reiterated that there was no ban on any colour or dress in the state. “Opposition parties are spreading misinformation to damage the image of an elected government. Everyone in the state has the right to wear any dress or any colour. Some people are spinning false stories,” he said in Kannur, adding that trumped-up protests would not do any damage to his government. Hindustan Times

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