Kerala is turning into a police state, says Satheesan

Kerala opposition leader VD Satheesan said on Sunday the state was turning into a police raj under Pinarayi Vijayan and asked if the chief minister was a Hitler. He said the young Congress workers were taken into protective custody at Kunnamkulam in Thrissur district simply because there was a fear that they would wave black flags or raise protests against Vijayan.

He also said that a young Congress leader, who is also a lawyer in Kochi, was taken to the police station on the island and stripped naked by the police. VD Satheesan said a lawyer was stripped naked and made to sit in a police station in his underwear just for protesting against a chief minister.

The opposition leader also said that Kerala’s chief minister was behaving uncharacteristically, which can be seen in the tight security that is deployed during his visits. He said that the chief minister sees everything in black. Satheesan was referring to the police forcibly removing the black masks used even by octogenarians lest the black mask be brandished at the chief minister.

Read | Fearing protests against CM, Kerala police prevent people from wearing black face masks

Lashing out at central agencies, the Leader of the Opposition questioned why they kept a studied silence even after the accusation of gold smuggling, Swapna Suresh made serious allegations against the Chief Minister and his family. He also said that the protests carried out by the BJP state unity are a farce and that the Sangh Parivar organizations are hand in hand with the chief minister and the CPI-M, hence the lethargy of a part of the central agencies.

He also asked why the Kerala Police did not even register a small case against the Ombudsman, Shaj Kiran, whose audio clips with Swapna Suresh were released by her. In the released audio clippings, Shaj Kiran was heard saying he would help Swapna out of the imbroglio and that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and CPI-M Secretary of State Kodiyeri Balakrishnan were parking their money in the US with the help of the controversial Believers Church, the Leader of the Opposition said.

He also said that the state Congress party and the UDF do not trust the central agencies and therefore want an investigation under the supervision of the Kerala High Court. The Leader of the Opposition said this case cannot be investigated by state vigilance as it involves an intra-state and international crime.

VD Satheesan said that Swapna Suresh has filed in Kerala High Court under Section 164(5) of CrPC and this is an oath and if this statement is false then she could face seven years in prison. He said the chief minister can also opt for a legal remedy in the high court, but Vijayan did not approach the court as he was afraid of the outcome.

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