VD Satheesan, the leader of opposition in Kerala. (Photo/ANI)
VD Satheesan, the leader of opposition in Kerala. (Photo/ANI)

Opposition stages walkout from Kerala Assembly over Kodakara national highway money theft case

ANI | Updated: Jul 26, 2021 19:24 IST

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], July 26 (ANI): The United Democratic Front (UDF)-led Opposition staged a walkout in the state Assembly over Kodakara national highway money theft case on Monday.
Member of the Legislative Assembly Roji M John brought an adjournment motion to discuss the Kodakara national highway money theft case.
Replying to the adjournment motion, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that Shamjeer, a native of Chelannur, Kozhikode has filed a complaint in the Kodakara police station on April 7, that a group of people robbed his Rs 25 lakhs and the car on March 3 at the Thrissur Kodakara bypass.
Based on this, a case was registered under section 395 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and an investigation was conducted.
He informed that the complainant was questioned in detail and it was revealed that there were Rs 3.5 crore in the car.
"Sections 412, 212, and 120(B) of the IPC were added to the case later. The case was investigated under Chalakudy Deputy SP and later, a special investigation team was formed under the supervision of Thrissur Range Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) and Ernakulam Crime Branch SP," Vijayan said.
The first charge-sheet against 22 accused has been filed before the court on July 23. The fourth accused, Deepak, is a BJP activist, said the Chief Minister.
He further added that 250 witnesses including BJP state president K Surendran and 17 state district office bearers were questioned in connection with the case. The probe has revealed that Dharmarajan is a BJP supporter and has close links with BJP state president K Surendran, state coordinating secretary M Ganesh and state office secretary Girishan Nair.
It has also been revealed that Dharmarajan is working as a hawala agent, Vijayan informed the state Assembly.
According to the charge-sheet, the looted money was brought from Karnataka for the BJP's election campaign on the instructions of the party leaders. Moreover, it has been revealed that the money was meant to be handed over to the party's Alappuzha district treasurer Gopalakrishna Kartha as suggested by Girishan Nair, Vijayan added.
Regarding the Opposition's criticism of the Kodalara probe, the Chief Minister said that the state police is conducting an investigation against the violation of existing laws that come under the purview of the state.
"The state government have no intention like Congress to investigate cases with political interests. It does not have any intention to accuse or release anyone based on political interests. Now the UDF's concern is about the case not being handed over to the central agency. In a case in which they are blaming BJP leaders are accused, the UDF want an agency under the BJP itself to probe the case. The UDF has that much trust in the BJP," he added.

"Now they are alleging state government trying to settle Kodakara black money laundering case."
Vijayan said that the state government not entrusted central agencies to probe the source of black money.
"In fact, there is no need to entrust the central agency to investigate the source of money but the investigating officers are informing the central agencies about the findings of this case. In the last one and a half months, we have seen how an investigation should not be conducted. It was the leaders of UDF along with BJP that justified the action of Central agencies in the public sphere," he further added.
The Chief Minister alleged that the money found in Kodakara was part of influencing the election. He said Kerala Police has conducted an inquiry and submitted a charge-sheet on matters which come under its limit.
"UDF is not ready to check whether the central agencies have completed their part on this case.
The people of the state are seeing that the Congress party is scared to say that central agencies have made lapses in the investigation," Vijayan alleged.
Responding to Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan for his comment that the Delhi visit was an attempt to rescue the former CPI(M)Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan's son who is allegedly involved in a drug case, the Chief Minister said, "There is neither drug case existing against that person nor any evidence against him. So, do not blame individuals with political intentions. Meeting PM was a formal function."
On meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vijayan said, "We can compete and argue politically but we need to stand together for the development of the country. The Prime Minister agreed to it."
Responding to Vijayan, Satheesan alleged there was a settlement in the Chief Minister's Delhi visit. He said there are so many cases that have been pending for a long time against the state government and office of the Chief Minister.
"The Enforcement Directorate and Customs have been investigating the Chief Minister's office. The Chief Minister's principal secretary was imprisoned for hundred days. There is a case against BJP leaders, who brought crores of rupees to Kerala to sabotage the free and fair election in Kerala. That was robbed on a highway. So robbery case was registered and within few hours the complainant himself was revealed that state BJP president is involved in it," he said.
"With the knowledge of the BJP state leaders, they brought the money to Kerala... Now the police have submitted the charge sheet before the trial court. Now all the BJP leaders are witnesses. No one was on the accused list. So this was part of the settlement between the CPM state leadership and BJP national leadership," he said.
Satheesan said that BJP state president K Surendran is confident because he knows the settlement between the CPI(M) and the BJP national leadership.
"That's why he is confident. Today all the cases have been settled. On one side, all the cases investigated by the central agencies have been stopped in a fine manner. The expected accused are on the witness list. I would be trying to avoid the straight questions," he further added. (ANI)