The National Investigation Agency (NIA) informed the special court in Kochi about the link between the accused involved in the gold smuggling case and the gang of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim on Wednesday. Over this established linking, leaders from the opposition parties in Kerala dashed Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday asking him to resign from the post.
The BJP chief of Kerala, K Surendran alleged the government of extending protection to the smugglers and urged the Chief minister to resign as he has “lost moral rights to continue.” According to the news agency ANI, Surendran was quoted saying, “The relationship of the accused in the gold smuggling case with D company and ISIS has been established.”
Ramesh Chennithala, Congress leader iterated the news as shocking and one of the biggest crimes happened in the state. He also raised fingers at the Vijayan government for their support to the accused. He said, “Unfortunately, the state government was supporting the culprits. NIA will unearth details of this crime.”
The accused involved in the gold smuggling case asserted the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) contending that smuggling is sectioned under economic offence and no potential terror angle was a part of the case.
The NIA opposed the claim stating that some of the accused involved in the case have connections with anti-national forces. According to the agency, who updated the court, the accused No 5 KT Rameez and accused No 13 M Sharafuddin visited Tanzania quite many times, where Dawood has an extensive network and contacted Feroze ‘Oasis’ to discuss strategies for smuggling firearms into the country.
Earlier, Rameez was caught with smuggled revolvers at the Kozhikode airport, but he was left citing his membership for the shooting association.
The first case of smuggling linked with terrorism surfaced on July 5 when 30 kg gold was captured by the customs from a package appearing as diplomatic consignment directed to UAE consulate.