Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 5 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday ended its raid after 26-hours in Bineesh Kodiyeri’s residence amid protests by his relatives.
It was a Thursday morning of fast paced developments with protests by relatives outside the house as the ED officials from Bengaluru finally ended the raid in connection with a drugs-related money laundering case.
Bineesh is Kerala CPI-M secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son, and the family lives together in the house. However, at the time of the raid, Balakrishnan was not in the house.
Earlier, the group of relatives, including two women, said they wanted to enter the house and meet the family, who had not stepped out since Wednesday morning, when the raid began.
A woman, claiming to be the sister of Balakrishnan’s wife, told the media “We are sending food to them and it is now beyond 24 hours since the raid began. We want to know if the food is being eaten by our relatives or is it being consumed by the ED team. We will not go from here until our request is met,” said the sister of Balakrishnan’s wife. Inside the house were the wife of Bineesh, their three-year-old child and her parents, she said.
Following the commotion, top Kerala Police officials arrived at the spot and after talks with the ED officials, they came and told the protesting relatives that those inside the house said ‘they do not wish to see anyone’.
As the protestors refused to go, Bineesh’s mother-in-law came out and met the media. She said, “The ED has not got anything from the raid and all what the team was doing was having food at repeated intervals. We are being subjected to mental torture.”
The raid had continued throughout the night and the house was manned by the CRPF and also a few Karnataka police officials.
After the ED officials completed their raid and drove out of the house, they were stopped by the local police. The police told them that they have a complaint from the family of Bineesh, who had alleged illegal confinement, including that of a three-year-old child of Bineesh.
The ED officials, however, said they will give a detailed statement on who all were present in the house and other details after they reached their office.
The wife of Bineesh also alleged that ‘it was a day of mental torture and the ED was forcing them to sign a paper which said that they got a credit card of Anoop Mohammed (presently in the judicial custody in Bengaluru after the Narcotic Control Bureau arrested him. Anoop is a close friend and business associate of Bineesh).
“We told them we will not sign it. All they got from our house was my mother’s i-Phone, for which I have acknowledged. Now I know that my husband is being forced into admitting something. All I wish to tell is, he is not a don or a boss. The only thing is he has a wide circle of friends,” said Bineesh’s wife.
“Now we all know how ED cooks up things as they were forcing us to sign. We are sure that the credit card was brought by them. This is the way they go about doing things,” added his wife.
Meanwhile, the officials of the Kerala State Commission for Child Rights after hearing that the three-year-old child of Bineesh was under ‘duress’, also arrived at the house.
“We will look into the issue and do the needful as we will not allow the rights of the children to be violated,” said the Commission chairman and added they will issue an order later in the day.
Amid all the happenings, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan drove up to the party headquarters and met Balakrishnan. A party meeting was also held subsequently.
While the ED ended its raids at five other places connected with Bineesh Kodiyeri’s business interests on Wednesday night, it continued its operation inside the house on Thursday morning also.
The officials said the raids were a follow-up on the information that they got from Bineesh, who has been in their custody since October 29.
Bineesh was arrested under the charges of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. He is in their custody till Saturday when he will be produced in the court at Bengaluru.