Thiruvananthapuram: Amidst the allegations that the political smuggling case was being held in Kerala and the Chief Minister’s office, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that it is entirely up to the Center to decide which investigating agency should investigate the case. At the same time, on the demand of CBI investigation by the opposition in this matter, the Chief Minister said that as far as the state government is concerned, it has no problem with any investigation.
He dismissed the opposition’s allegations that the Chief Minister’s Office attempted to interfere in the matter. Vijayan said that the state government will not save anyone involved in such a crime. At the same time, senior IAS officer M Shivshankar was removed from his posts in the backdrop of the gold smuggling controversy due to the attackers of the opposition party Congress and BJP. Shiv Shankar was the Chief Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan as well as Principal Secretary, Information Technology.
The opposition had alleged that 30 kg of gold seized at the international airport was brought through ‘diplomatic goods’ and the role of a woman, a former employee of the Information Technology Department, should be investigated in this regard. The Customs Department arrested an accused in connection with the case on Monday and a search is on for the woman who worked for six months as a liaison officer at Space Park under the Department of Information Technology.
According to government sources, the woman was fired two days ago. After the news of the woman working in the Information Technology Department, both the opposition parties BJP and Congress are against the Chief Minister. Vijayan also said that the ‘disputed woman’ was not attached to the Chief Minister’s Office. Meanwhile, the Customs Department intensified investigations into the sensational case of gold smuggling using diplomatic channels on Tuesday, saying it plans to issue a lookout notice for the former female consulate of the consulate in Kerala, who Still absconding.
Highly placed sources in the customs department said that a lookout notice has to be issued for the woman allegedly involved in the smuggling of gold to ensure that she does not flee the country. Let us tell you that the Customs Department on Sunday seized gold worth more than Rs 15 crore from a diplomatic baggage from Thiruvananthapuram International Airport. In connection with this, a person was arrested by the central agency. The person claims that he is a former employee of a consulate in Kerala.
On the other hand, Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday requesting a CBI inquiry into the alleged influence of ‘smuggling gang’ in Kerala Chief Minister’s office. Chennithala wrote a letter on July 4 that customs authorities recovered over 30 crore rupees of gold illegally brought to the country in Thiruvananthapuram. The goods from which this gold was recovered, the address of the UAE Consulate was written on it.
She also cited media reports that claimed that the woman had close ties with M Shivshankar, secretary of the Department of Information Technology, Kerala. Amidst the entire episode, the UAE embassy in Delhi tweeted that UAE officials were investigating who sent the consignment in the name of the UAE consulate that contained gold? The embassy said that they are committed to fully cooperate with the Indian authorities to get to the root of the crime.