Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Higher Education Minister KT Jaleel questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) over the Quran parcels received by the minister from UAE using the diplomatic channel, has sparked massive protest from the opposition parties across the state on Saturday. Kerala has been witnessing an unprecedented protest since the ED source disclosed that the minister was questioned by the investigation agency.
For the first time in Kerala’s history, a minister has been questioned by the ED. The ED source has revealed that the minister was questioned on Friday from 9 am to 1.30 pm after he was summoned to the Kochi office of the agency. However, amid the high protest launched by the opposition parties demanding the minister’s resignation, K T Jaleel did not agree that he was questioned by the ED so far.
The ED source has revealed that the minister will be questioned in detail soon as there was a lack of clarity in the statements given by the minister. When asked about the phone communication between the minister and the gold smuggling accused Swapna Suresh and Sarith during interrogation, his reply was not satisfactory, the ED source said. The agency source informed that the reply was not meeting the facts as Sarith was not the UAE consulate official as he was expelled from the consulate at the time when Jaleel had contacted him. Jaleel reportedly told that he would contact Swapna and Sarith as they were top profiled consulate officials. When asked about whether any other person received Quran parcel as a gift from UAE consulate as he had received, the minister informed to have said that he did not know. The minister was reportedly a regular visitor at UAE consulate by breaching protocol. It is informed by the ED source that the minister had replied on that did not know about protocol violation in this visit to the UAE consulate when asked about.
A massive protest has been launched against the minister across the state by the opposition BJP and Congress after the ED source confirmed that the minister KT Jaleel was questioned. The protest that had extended till late night on Friday has resumed on today. Demanding the resignation of KT Jaleel, the opposition parties BJP, Congress and Muslim League and, Youth League, Youth Congress and the ABVP, the youth organisations of League, Congress and BJP respectively have been launched an unprecedented joint protest in the state. The opposition parties have conveyed the view that the protest will continue until the minister resigned.
Amid the high protest against the higher education minister KT Jaleel, the CPI (M) has taken a stand to protect the minister and expressed trust on the minister. The PB member S Ramachandra Pillai has made it clear that the party will not seek the minister’s resignation until the court convicted him. KT Jaleel so far did not agree that he had been questioned by the ED. The matter was known only after the ED source confirmed that the minister was questioned.
Higher Education Minister KT Jaleel’s name has been surfaced in the case when the phone call details of Swapana Suresh and Sarith disclosed his name after the duo was arrested after 30 kg gold seized at Trivandrum airport on July 6, 2020, using the diplomatic channel.