Karuvannur bank fraud: Moideen’s confidant Aravindakshan rose to the top bypassing powerful people

PR Aravindakshan; Karuvannur Cooperative Bank. Photo: Manorama

Thrissur: P R Aravindakshan (57), who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the Karuvannur Cooperative Bank fraud, has been a confidant of MLA A C Moideen for years despite holding no major party posts.

Though Wadakkanchery was Aravindakshan's primary area of work with regard to the party, he worked in the Kunnamkulam Assembly constituency when Moideen contested from there in 2016 and 2021.

Aravindakshan, who was only a local committee member, reached Moideen and the leadership by overtaking many influential party members. It was Aravindakshan who brought the first accused P Satheesh Kumar closer to Moideen.

Aravindakshan started his public life when he was a taxi driver in Wadakkanchery. In the 2000 panchayat elections, he won the Mundathikode ward as a Left independent candidate with a margin of 17 votes.

After that, his victories were on the party symbol. He then became the CPM Athani local committee secretary. A C Moideen, who was CPM's Wadakkanchery area committee secretary then, defeated K Muraleedharan in the 2004 by-election. The campaign in this election paved the way for a close relationship between Aravindakshan and Moideen.

In 2005, Aravindakshan became the vice-president of Parlikkad panchayat, bypassing seniors in the party. Though he won in 2010 as well, the UDF wrested power. Aravindakshan unexpectedly became the local secretary of the CPM in Mundathikode. In 2015 and 2020, he won the Wadakkancherry municipality elections.

Karuvannur Bank’s credit risk rises to Rs 485 crore

Meanwhile, the Karuvannur Cooperative Bank has to recover around Rs 485 crore towards principal and interest for loans it had allocated. A large number of borrowers have stopped repaying loans, with the fraud to the tune of nearly Rs 300 crore coming to light and the bank's operations getting disrupted. They are of the stand that since the loan amount was many times more than the value of the mortgage, let it be recovered through proceedings.

The borrowers of 165 loans stopped repaying after the ED took into custody the documents of these loans. Officials said the new administrator has given gold loans worth Rs 3.5 crore after taking charge in June.

One scam victim belongs to family that helped EMS, MN hide

Among many innocents who fell prey to the bank fraud is an Irinjalakkuda man who belongs to a family that helped comrades like EMS (EMS Namboodiripad) and MN (MN Govindan Nair) hide during the turbulent days of the Communist party.

Mapranam native Vadakkethala Joshi, who went on a hunger strike at his house on the Thiruvonam day demanding his deposit back, is the grandson of Vazhappilly Ouseph, a Communist who set up hideouts for EMS and MN.

Joshi and his family, who had invested Rs 90 lakh in the bank, did not get back even half of it. He was bedridden for eight years following an accident and has been an empanelled contractor since 2010. In the meantime, he battled a tumour twice.

Ouseph was a compositor at the Bharat Printing Press, which functioned at Thana. In 1948, EMS and M N Govindan Nair hid themselves for a month-and-a-half in the attic of Ouseph's house near Thana in Irinjalakuda. Joshi is the son of Ouseph's eldest daughter, Thresiamma.

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