Dramatic scenes unfolded outside the house of CPI(M) leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son Bineesh Kodiyeri in the state capital on Thursday after relatives staged a sit-in saying his wife and minor child were kept in detention by Enforcement Directorate (ED) and were denied basic needs.
The ED raid at Kodiyeri’s house in connection with a money laundering probe linked to a drug bust in Bengaluru had begun Wednesday noon . State Child Rights Commission chairman Manoj Kumar rushed to the spot on Thursday but the central agency did not allow him to enter the premises. But when ED officials were about to leave after the 26-hour raid was over, Kerala police personnel blocked them saying they had a complaint against them and entered into an argument. They were allowed to leave after ED officials showed a court order for the raid.
The police said they sought details about the raid after a formal complaint was lodged by Bineesh’s relatives. The Child Rights Commission also said it will file a case against ED officials for “illegal detention of the child.”
Bineesh’s wife Reneeta later told reporters that ED officials were trying to plant evidence in their house.
She alleged that the ED tried to force her to sign a report in which the agency claimed to have found a credit card belonging to the alleged drug peddler Anoop Mohammad from her house. She claimed that the ED officials brought the card from outside and wanted to plant it in her house to show that it was seized from there.
She said she refused to sign on the paper for which she was detained inside the house.
The ED later said that Bineesh’s family members were not co-operating with the ongoing probe and it will inform the court about this.
The Opposition Congress and BJP said it was a drama enacted by the ruling CPI(M) to browbeat the central agency. “The CPI(M) is trying to block the probe as it is about to reach chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan,” said opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala. The CPI(M) denied any move to interrupt the ongoing investigation.
The ED began the search on Wednesday morning and it continued till 12 noon on Thursday .The central agency was given the Central Reserve Police Force protection after intelligence reports that protesters may interrupt the raid.
Kodiyeri, who was arrested on October 29 is in the ED’s custody in Bengaluru. He landed in trouble after the Bengaluru drug racket accused Anoop Mohammad gave a statement to the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) saying that Kodiyeri had helped him in his “business venture.”
He was arraigned as the sixth accused in a money laundering case connected to the drug haul.