Gold smuggling case: NIA questions Kerala higher education minister KT Jaleel

Deccan Chronicle.  | Smitha N

Nation, Politics

Jaleel reached the NIA office in a private vehicle by 6 AM to evade media reporters

People detain Mahila Morcha and ABVP activists staging a protest demanding the resignation of KT Jaleel in Kochi. — PTI photo

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has questioned Kerala higher education minister K.T Jaleel at its office here on Thursday in connection with the agency’s probe into the gold smuggling case, through diplomatic baggage addressed to the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram. The minister was earlier interrogated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the allegations of his links with gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh.

According to TV channel reports, Jaleel reached the NIA office in a private vehicle by 6 AM to evade media reporters. Police have arranged high security near the NIA office to prevent protests as the Opposition parties have been organising protests across the state demanding resignation of Jaleel.

During the NIA probe into the gold smuggling case, it was found that Swapna Suresh had contacted the minister over the phone several times. But the minister had denied having links with Swapna. According to reports, the minister claimed to have received foreign consignment containing 300 Qurans from the UAE consulate to be distributed across the state. There are allegations that the minister received the religious texts by violating the protocol and in violation of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.