Congress, BJP stage widespread protests against Pinarayi Vijayan
The opposition parties were protesting against the Chief Minister over the recent revelations of Swapna Suresh, an accused in a case of gold-smuggling through diplomatic channels.Two transgenders, who reached the venue of an event at Kaloor metro station, wearing black dress were taken into preventive custody by the police suspecting that they came to protest.The transgenders claimed that they were on their way to the metro station but the police took them into custody.
The Congress and the BJP on Saturday staged widespread protests and waved blackflags at Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who was in the districts of Kottayam and Ernakulam to attend a few public events. The opposition parties were protesting against the Chief Minister over the recent revelations of Swapna Suresh, an accused in a case of gold-smuggling through diplomatic channels.
Two transgenders, who reached the venue of an event at Kaloor metro station, wearing black dress were taken into preventive custody by the police suspecting that they came to protest.
The transgenders claimed that they were on their way to the metro station but the police took them into custody. ''We came to the metro station. But the police started questioning us. Are we not allowed to wear black dress anywhere because the chief minister is attending a programme somewhere. Our Constitution gives us the right to wear whatever we like,'' they told the media before they were whisked away by the police.
However, police told PTI that they were BJP workers and were planning a protest.
''They were taken into preventive custody and let off. As far as we know, they are BJP workers and they came to protest,'' police said.
Meanwhile, some media houses reported that the police had asked certain journalists to remove the black masks they were wearing while covering the event at Kaloor. However, CMO later clarified that no such instructions were given to police.
The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), an ally of the Congress-led united Democratic Front (UDF), raised a ''lookout notice'' with Vijayan's photo during their protest at northern districts of Kerala.
Amidst Opposition parties' clamour for his resignation in the wake of fresh revelations against him in the gold-smuggling case, Vijayan today hit back at detractors at an event in Kottayam, saying the allegations were not going to affect him nor his government in any way and that they still enjoy the complete support and confidence of the people of the State.
Without mentioning the recent disclosure by gold-smuggling case key accused Swapna Suresh against him and his family, Vijayan said there was a flood of similar allegations against his government before the State election but the people rejected the charges and gave the mandate to rule the State again with 99 seats.
The Chief Minister also did not hide his displeasure to the media giving so much importance to news related to the statements of the gold-smuggling case accused.
He asked whether the media was thinking that they could mar the image of the LDF government before the public through such reports.
Traffic regulations were imposed on the roads for his smooth passage triggered arguments between police and the public at several places.
According to reports, the security detail of the Chief Minister was upgraded to a 40-member team including commandos for his public meetings.
In the wake of the latest development, the opposition Congress mounted pressure seeking Vijayan's resignation, with party activists taking out protest-marches in different parts of the State over the issue, even as the ruling CPI(M) continued to strongly defend the Chief Minister.
Triggering a political storm in the State, Suresh, earlier this week, claimed that she disclosed before the court -- in her statement under Section 164 of Criminal Procedure Code -- the other people allegedly involved in the smuggling cases and their ''degrees of involvement.'' She said she had given statements against the CM, his family, former Kerala Minister K T Jaleel and some other top bureaucrats.
The NIA, Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Customs conducted separate probes 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.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)