Thiruvananthapuram: BDJS national president Tushar Vellapally, who was arrested in Ajman, UAE, over a cheque-bouncing case on Wednesday, was released on Thursday on a bail of one lakh dirhams provided by industrialist M. A. Yussafali . Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and many BJP leaders had intervened to secure his release after he was held from a hotel in Dubai where he had gone on Tuesday.
Tushar's passport has been surrendered before the Ajman police which has banned him from travelling back to India. He will appear before the investigating officials again on Sunday.
The cheque-bouncing incident happened over a decade ago when Tushar had a business contract with the complainant Nasil Abdullah in the Ajman emirate. His business was shut down later.
Tushar had gone to Dubai to meet a few people and was planning to return on Friday. He said that he received a phone call enquiring whether he was interested to sell his property in Dubai.
"Initially I told him that I was not interested. But when he offered a huge amount, I said I will consider it and asked the caller to come and meet me at Hotel Crowne Plaza at Sheikh Zayed road, where I was staying. But to my surprise, two CIDs came to my hotel room and arrested me," said Tushar.
He asked them why they were arresting him as he does not own a company in the UAE. Only when he reached the court, he realised the motive behind the arrest.
Tushar had owned a company in Dubai 12 years ago and its licence has not been renewed for over a decade. He claimed that an old cheque which is no longer accepted by the bank had either been stolen or taken through other means and then his signature was forged.
"There was an old contract with the complainant for 7,200 dhirhams (Rs 1.40 lakh). But he has to prove why he is accusing me of owing such a huge amount," added Tushar.The complainant had told him that he was not interested in tarnishing his image, but only wanted the money.
Tushar's arrest came as a surprise to many, especially his father, Vellapally Natesan, SNDP Yogam general secretary. He said Tushar was trapped by someone. Tushar was seen in blue denim jeans and blue shirt when he met the media at Ajman police headquarters. Tushar said he was not locked up behind bars, but was in the police station.
He denied any political vendetta behind his arrest, but said it was an attempt to extort money from him. He said he was not guilty and so will challenge it legally. Yussafali 's lawyer did the liaison work in Dubai for his speedy release from the neighbouring emirate. If Tushar had not got bail on Thursday, he would have languished in the jail on Friday, which is a public holiday in West Asia.
Pinarayi intervenes for Tushar
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's intervention to get the speedy release of BDJS president Tushar Vellapally from Ajman in the UAE was not appreciated by various quarters. They asked what he had done to release scores of Malayalis languishing in jails abroad in cheque- bouncing cases.
Mr Vijayan intervened in the matter after Mr Tushar's father Vellapally Natesan, SNDP Yogam general secretary, contacted him. The chief minister sent a letter to Union External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar seeking special care for Tushar because of his medical condition.
His carefully-worded letter stated: "News channels have reported the arrest of Shri. Tushar Vellapally, vice-president of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam, at Ajman in United Arab Emirates. I express concern about his well-being and health while in custody. All possible help within the limits of law needs to be made available to him. I request your kind personal attention and intervention in this regard."...