Left govt won't support anyone involved in gold smuggling syndicate: Pinarayi

Pinarayi Vijayan

Thiruvananthapuram/Thrissur: Reacting for the first time over the recent controversyin Kerala over the CPI(M)'s alleged link to a Kannur-based gold smuggling syndicate, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said the Left government will not support any one involved in the matter.

Speaking to reporters here, Vijayan said the party has never supported any crime and those who involved in any such criminal activity will be expelled. The opposition Congress and BJP on Tuesday lambasted the ruling CPI(M) over the alleged link of a Kannur-based gold smuggling syndicate with the party and urged the Chief Minister to end his silence over the issue.

"The state government will not support any sort of criminal activity. Most of the people in our society have a political opinion. They don't have to be the main activists or leaders of any party. They might express their political opinion. However, that does not affect the government to take action for their wrongdoings.

"If someone has indulged in any crime, the government will take necessary action against such culprits. We have taken appropriate action," he said. When asked about certain accused persons in the case who have been supporters of his party, Vijayan said they were not official spokespersons of the CPI(M). "Those who post on Facebook or other social media are not official party pokespersons. They are expressing their personal opinion. That is not the party's responsibility. The party has already made its stand clear," Vijayan said.

He said the CPI(M) will not support any crime and the party has always led by example and expelled those who have indulged in wrongdoings, even though thosepeople have worked selflessly for the party.

While the Congress alleged that the Marxist party is protecting all sorts of criminals, the BJP accused it of providing a safe haven to 'quotation gangs' and underworld mafia groups in the southern state.

The opposition parties sharpened their criticism after reports about the alleged link of the Kannur-based smugglers, involved in the illegal transfer of the yellow metal through the Karipur International Airport in north Kerala, with the CPI(M) surfaced in the media.

The matter came to light after the recent death of a gang of five men in a road accident in Ramanattukara in northern Kozhikode district.

The deceased persons were suspected to have links with the smugglers, police said. Leader of Opposition in the Assembly V D Satheesan hit out at the CPI(M) and urged the party-led government to order an investigation into the smugglers' alleged relationship with political leaders and also about those who were protecting the criminals.

"Media reports are exposing the CPI(M)'s criminal connections everyday. It has now become clear that those who indulge in cyber goondaism for the party on various virtual platforms are either perpetrators or masterminds in various criminal cases reported in recent times," he alleged in a press meet in Thrissur.

The Left party was protecting those involved in crimes like gold smuggling, political murders and rape, the Congress leader further alleged. Cautioning that the control of the state would land in the hands of anti-social elements if the present gold smuggling case was not dealt with utmost seriousness, Satheesan said the CM should make his stand clear over the issue.

Meanwhile, BJP state president K Surendran targeted the ruling party over the latest gold smuggling case in Kerala and said its roots could be traced to AKG Centre, the CPI(M) headquarters here.

The recent incidents have proved that Kerala had turned out to be a safe haven for underworld gangs, he alleged in the state committee meeting of the saffron party held Tuesday.

The Customs is probing the case related to the recent gold smuggling through the Karipur International Airport.PTI

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