Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 19 (IANS) Joining the latest row over the audio clip of Swapna Suresh, the prime accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case, wherein she purportedly talked about being pressurised to name Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the case, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan alleged on Thursday that the clip was scripted by the CM’s office.
Speaking to the media here, Muraleedharan, the lone Keralite in the Union cabinet, said that this is nothing but a drama of the CPI-M scripted by Vijayan’s office.
“The immediate beneficiary of the latest audio clip is Vijayan. What happened to another audio clip of Swapna which came out sometime back? The gold smuggling case is progressing on the basis of evidences and if the evidences reach Vijayan’s office, the agency will reach there too. Every aspect of the case, from its origin to its beneficiaries, will be revealed,” said Muraleedharan.
On Thursday morning, the Kerala jail authorities headed by Director General of Prisons, Rishiraj Singh, ordered an immediate probe into the matter, following which senior police officer Ajaykumar reached the jail where Swapna is presently lodged.
After meeting her, Ajaykumar told the media that Swapna has agreed that the audio clip is her’s, but it was not recorded here and she did not remember when she said this and to whom.
Following this, Singh wrote to state police chief Loknath Behra to conduct a probe into how and where this audio clip was generated.
The Enforcement Directorate has also begun a parallel probe into the matter.
Meanwhile, the CPI-M alleged that the national probe agencies are being used to overthrow the democratically elected government in the state.
“Instead of unearthing the gold smuggling case, they are trying to use it politically. And hand-in-glove are the Congress and the BJP, which are providing ammunition to these agencies. This will be dealt by the party with the support of the people,” said a statement issued by the CPI-M.
The new round of controversy started after state BJP President K. Surendran said on Wednesday that Swapna had numerous visitors in the jail, including close aides of Vijayan and state Finance Minister Thomas Issaac.
Soon after the BJP leader made this statement, jail chief Singh asked Surendran to withdraw his statement or face legal action, which was quickly contested by the state party chief, who then wanted to know how did an audio clip believed to be that of Swapna surface.
The jail department, however, pointed out that she only made a call to her mother and whenever she met visitors, the Customs officials were always present.
The case came to the fore after the Customs department arrested P.S. Sarith, a former employee of the UAE Consulate here, on July 5 for allegedly smuggling gold in a diplomatic baggage destined for the Consulate.