Amidst allegations that the sensational gold, dollar smuggling cases involving Swapna Suresh and chief minister’s former principal secretary M Shivasankar are as good as having been put in cold storage, another gold smuggling racket based out of Karippur airport in Kozhikode is causing embarrassment to the ruling CPI-M.
The central characters in the racket are found to have connections with CPI-M, further strengthening suspicion that they have been using their party connections to engage in illegal activities.
Disclosures relating to the latest smuggling incident, which involved filmy-style chase of the contraband gold by a rival gang, leading to a terrible accident, leading to the death of five occupants of one of the cars, have forced the party to disown these people. But the gang members have left behind social media profiles that link them to the cyber campaigns of the ruling party, which has a dedicated army of cyber warriors, creating buzz in favour of the party.
For instance, a man named Arjun Ayanki has been arrested by Customs in connections with Karippur-based gold smuggling and is being interrogated. He was an active member of CPI-M cyber team and a local secretary of DYFI, the youth wing of CPI-M.
Before his arrest, he put out a Facebook post, in which he said the party was in no way responsible for his actions and that he ceased to be an active member of DFYI three years ago and that he has been carrying on an ideological campaign on behalf of the party, expecting no reward in return.
A man named Muhammed Shafiq, arrested in connection with the latest heist of two and a half kilos of smuggled gold, has told interrogators that Arjun Ayanki was the mastermind behind the gold smuggling.
Arjun Ayanki was found using a car provided by his friend Sajesh, who has been an active party worker in a local unit of CPI-M in Kannur, for the latest smuggling operation. Sajesh has since been suspended by CPI-M on grounds that he failed to exercise caution in dealing with Arjun Ayanki.
The district leadership of Kannur CPI-M has decided to take action against all those who may be engaged in illicit activities by using the party as cover.
There have been allegations that many of the criminal gangs operating in the state enjoy patronage of the ruling party and the latest action is to free the party from such a reputation. The party has launched a campaign to identify such elements and cut all ties with them.
Kannur CPI-M district secretary MV Jayarajan alleged that there was a concerted media campaign against the party in the name of gold smuggling and other criminal activities in view of the latest disclosures.
The media has been alleging that the cooperative banks in the control of CPI-M were being used to carry out smuggling operations. Sajesh, whose car was used for the operation by Arjun Ayanki, is the gold assayer at a CPI-M controlled bank.
Customs is exploring if the bank was used by the culprits to deposit the smuggled gold.