Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 19 : The Kerala Jail authorities headed by top police officer Rishi Raj Singh on Thursday ordered an immediate probe into a viral audio clip, believed to be that of gold smuggling prime accused Swapna Suresh’s, where she purportedly talks about being pressurised to name Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the case.
The jail department has asked a top police official to complete the probe and submit a report on Thursday itself.
The new round of controversy started after State BJP president K.Surendran on Wednesday said that Suresh who is housed at a jail in the state capital here had numerous visitors, including close aides of Vijayan and State Finance Minister Thomas Issaac.
Soon after the BJP leader made this statement, Jail chief Singh asked Surendran to withdraw his statement or face legal action, which was quickly contested by the state party chief, who then wanted to know how an audio clip believed to be that of Swapna Suresh has surfaced.
The jail department, however, pointed out that she has only made a call to her mother and whenever she met visitors, the Customs officials were always present.
Hence the probe will be done to find out if this was a ‘manufactured’ audio clip.
The case burst out on the scene after Customs arrested P.S. Sarith, a former employee of the UAE Consulate here, on July 5 for allegedly smuggling gold in a diplomatic baggage destined for the Consulate.
Later Suresh, who was one of the other Consulate staff, along with her associate Sandip Nair were also arrested by the National Investigation Agency from Bengaluru.
Vijayan removed Sivasankar as his Principal Secretary and then as IT Secretary after it surfaced that Suresh and Sivasankar were allegedly close friends.
Vijayan has all along said that he had no clue of what was happening, but the principal opposition parties — Congress and BJP — have alleged that Vijayan knew everything and is now scared that the probe may enter his office.
The ED has asked his assistant private secretary C.M. Ravindran to appear before the agency, which he has not done as he has tested Covid positive.