Highlights

  • BJP Yuva Morcha workers protest against councillor's arrest
  • Sumil Balu arrested for wearing black, claims BJP
  • Kerala is seeing widespread protests against CM Pinarayi Vijayan

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Kerala protests: BJP marches over councillor's arrest| CM Vijayan faces smuggling heat

As the protests gain steam across the state, the police have put a blanket ban on black on anything black at events attended by the CM

Kerala continues to witness widespread protests by opposition parties seeking Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's resignation over the gold smuggling case.

The sensational gold smuggling case that had rocked Kerala before the Assembly polls last year, has returned to haunt the ruling LDF with prime accused in the case, Swapna Suresh recently levelling serious allegations against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, his family members and some top bureaucrats.

Suresh was released from jail in November last year, 16 months after her arrest in the sensational gold smuggling case.

A former employee of the UAE Consulate in India, she was taken into custody by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) along with another accused Sandeep Nair from Bengaluru on July 11, 2020.

The NIA, Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Customs conducted a separate probe into the racket that was busted with the seizure of gold worth Rs 15 crore from the diplomatic baggage of the UAE Consulate at Thiruvananthapuram airport on July 5, 2020.

Several people, including M Sivasankar, the former Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister and another ex-employee of the UAE Consulate here, Sarith P S, were arrested in connection with the case.

Seeking to counter gold smuggling case prime accused Swapna Suresh's latest claim about her once-close connections with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his family, the CMO on Wednesday released a two-year-old video in which he was seen saying that she had visited his official residence here several times along with the then UAE Consulate General for official purpose.

The short video, released by the Chief Minister's Office in its social media handle, has two parts- Suresh's Tuesday's threat to expose Vijayan's 'lie' that he did not know her and the CM's old statement admitting that he knew her as a Consulate staff.

As the protests gain steam across the state, the police have put a blanket ban on black on anything black at events attended by the CM. The move comes after CM Vijayan was shown black flags at separate instances, including at Thrissur, Mallapuram and also on a flight he boarded from Kannur.

The CM however, has denied any such ban, adding that black dress and masks are not restricted.

At one such protest, BJP councillor Sumi Balu was arrested for wearing black, alleged the party. Opposing her arrest, BJP workers marched in the state capital on Wednesday where they were met with water canons and barricades by the police.

With PTI inputs

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