Kerala NRI meet row: Four contract employees sacked

Published on Jun 25, 2022 12:49 AM IST

Days after the presence of Italy-based Keralite Anitha Pullayil at the concluding session of the Kerala government’s annual NRI meet, Loka Kerala Sabha, stirred a row, four employees of an agency associated with the Kerala assembly’s Sabha TV were terminated on Friday for facilitating her entry.

Kerala assembly speaker M B Rajesh admitted her entry to the assembly premises was a lapse. (HT)
Kerala assembly speaker M B Rajesh admitted her entry to the assembly premises was a lapse. (HT)
By, Thiruvananthapuram

Days after the presence of Italy-based Keralite Anitha Pullayil at the concluding session of the Kerala government’s annual NRI meet, Loka Kerala Sabha, stirred a row, four employees of an agency associated with the Kerala assembly’s Sabha TV were terminated on Friday for facilitating her entry.

Pullayil had alleged links with Kochi-based controversial antique collector Monson Mavunkal who was arrested last year after several cheating complaints surfaced.

Kerala assembly speaker M B Rajesh admitted her entry to the assembly premises was a lapse. The three- day function was organised at the assembly complex. After her visit triggered a controversy, the speaker had asked the chief marshal to submit a report.

“She entered into the premises using an invitation card issued for the open forum, conducted outside the main venue. Later, she entered the assembly building with the help of the staff of the agency working for Sabha TV,” he said adding none of the assembly employees extended any help to her.

He said the private agency deals with the OTT operations of the Sabha TV. In the inquiry it was also found that she was within the premises all three days of the function but nobody noticed her.

According to the report it was a woman employee of the private agency who took Pullayil into the assembly building and since the employee was known to security staff they let her go. Rajesh said after checking CCTV visuals, it was found that Pullayil interacted with many delegates. He said in view of the lapse, security will be beefed up.

Following the controversy, the department of Non-Resident Keralalites’ Affairs (Norka), which organised the function, said she was not invited to the function.Later, Pullayil told a Malayalam news channel that she was not evicted from the function but newsmen noticed her while she was coming out of the function. She said she attended it as she has keen interest in the issues of non-resident Indians.

Last year, the special investigation team (SIT) had registered a case against her after a survivor allegedly abused by Mavunkal named her. Mavunkal is facing 14 cases of cheating and a case of sexual assault.

Mavunkal was arrested in September last year after five businessmen complained to chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan of being cheated of 10 crore. Later many other businessmen also filed cheating complaints against him. A minor girl, who was the daughter of one of his employees, also filed a sexual assault compliant against him.

After many cases surfaced Pullayil distanced herself from Mavunkal saying she was unaware of his shady deals. Later, police suspended IG A Lakshmana for his alleged proximity with the conman. During investigation it was also found that police set up a beat box outside his house for his security.

Last week, the Enforcement Directorate had questioned two retired police officers in connection with money-laundering charges against Mavunkal.

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