Gold smuggling accused linked with Dawood: Oppn demands Kerala CM’s resignation
The NIA countered the claim saying some of the accused in the case have links with anti-national forces. They visited Tanzania several times where the underworld don Dawood Ibrahim has an extensive network, the agency told the court.Updated: Oct 15, 2020, 14:57 IST
Leaders of the opposition parties in Kerala on Thursday slammed chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday told a special court in Kochi about the link between the gang of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and the accused in the gold smuggling case.
Kerala’s BJP chief K Surendran accused the government of shielding the smugglers and demanded that the chief minister resign as he has “lost moral rights to continue.” “The relationship of the accused in the gold smuggling case with D company and ISIS has been established,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Congress’ Ramesh Chennithala called the news shocking and said it was the biggest crime that has happened in the state. He too accused the Vijayan government of “supporting” the accused. “Unfortunately, the state government was supporting the culprits. NIA will unearth details of this crime,” he told ANI.
The accused in the gold smuggling case had challenged the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), arguing that smuggling comes under economic offence and no terror angle was involved in the case.
The NIA countered the claim saying some of the accused in the case have links with anti-national forces. They visited Tanzania several times where the underworld don has an extensive network, the agency told the court.
It further said that accused No 5 KT Ramees and accused No 13 M Sharafuddin had visited Tanzania a number of times and met Dawood’s contact Feroze ‘Oasis’ to discuss ways to smuggle firearms into the country.
Ramees was earlier caught with smuggled revolvers at the Kozhikode airport but he later got away, saying he was a member of the shooting association and remitted fine.
Another arrested in the case Muhamad Ali was accused of chopping off the palm of a college teacher who prepared a controversial question paper. He was later acquitted in 2015. He had close links with some of the fundamentalist outfits conspiring against the country, according to NIA.
This first smuggling case in which the anti-terror law was invoked surfaced on July 5 after 30 kg of gold was seized by the customs from a package camouflaged as diplomatic consignment marked to the UAE consulate.