NIA finds Dawood link to Kerala Gold Smuggling, opposition demands Vijayan’s resignation

Political landscape of Kerala has heated up after the National Investigation Agency on Wednesday told a special court in Kochi about the link between the gang of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and the accused in the gold smuggling case.

As per the agency, accused No 5 KT Ramees and accused No 13 M Sharafuddin had visited Tanzania a number of times and met Dawood’s contact Feroze ‘Oasis’ to discuss ways to smuggle firearms into the country. Ramees was earlier caught with smuggled revolvers at the Kozhikode airport but he later got away, saying he was a member of the shooting association and remitted fine.

The NIA, has sought to invoke the provision of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in the case. Though the accused have argued against it saying that smuggling comes under economic offence and no terror angle was involved in the case.

However, countering the argument against UAPA, put forward by the accused, NIA asserted that some of the accused in the case have links with anti-national forces.

Another arrested in the case Muhamad Ali has been found to be having close links with some of the fundamentalist outfits conspiring against the country, according to NIA.

Meanwhile, opposition parties in the state have come down heavily on the Pinarayi Vijayan led CPIM government in the state. Kerala’s BJP chief K Surendran accused the government of shielding the smugglers and demanded that the chief minister resign as he has “lost moral rights to continue.”

“The relationship of the accused in the gold smuggling case with D company and ISIS has been established,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Congress’ Ramesh Chennithala called the news shocking and said it was the biggest crime that has happened in the state. He too accused the Vijayan government of “supporting” the accused.

“Unfortunately, the state government was supporting the culprits. NIA will unearth details of this crime,” he told ANI.