Protests rage in Kerala seeking minister Jaleel's resignation

Protests rage in Kerala seeking minister Jaleel's resignation
Youth Congress workers clash with police. Photo: Harilal SS
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Protests continued for the eighth consecutive day demanding the resignation of minister K T Jaleel in connection with NIA's probe into the gold smuggling racket busted in Thiruvananthapuram.

Activists of the Youth Congress workers were injured in clashes with the police in Pathanamthitta and Kozhikode.

Police had to use force against the agitators who tried to break the barricade to barge into the district collectorates in these districts. Traffic was disrupted on the Kozhikode-Wayanad national highway.

Protests rage in Kerala seeking minister Jaleel's resignation
Water canon being used to disperse youth congress activists. Photo: Harilal SS

In Kasaragod, activists of Mahila Morcha - the women's wing of the BJP - staged a protest demanding Jaleel's resignation and the arrest of Muslim League MLA M C Kamarudheen, in connection with a gold scam case.

'CPM playing communal card'

UDF convener Benny Behanan alleged the CPM was playing a communal card to shield Jaleel in the smuggling case.

K Muraleedharan MP said the CPM was paving the way for the BJP's growth in Kerala.

Protests rage in Kerala seeking minister Jaleel's resignation
Youth Front workers clash with police. Photo: Harilal SS

CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, writing in party organ Deshabhimani said that the Congress, Indian Union Muslim league and the BJP were spreading canards in the name of the Quran and targeting Jaleel.

"The UAE Consulate sought the help of Jaleel to distribute the Holy Quran and Ramadan kits. He distributed that at various places. Is that a crime? A section of the media and the opposition is now spreading canards," wrote Balakrishnan. "Is distributing the Quran a crime in India and is there any such order in the country? The RSS and the BJP have always been against the Quran and they have always been against Muslims and Communists.

The Centre is trying to use the national agencies for it. It's understandable for the RSS to have an allergy to the Quran, but I fail to understand why the IUML and the Congress are doing it," Balakrishnan stated in the report.

Speaking to the media after CPM state secretariat meeting on Friday, Balakrishnan said the Congress and the BJP were conspiring against the government.

"I have nothing to fear as I have not done even the slightest of the wrong. I can only sympathise with the media who are providing live information to where I am travelling and where I am staying, to those who are waylaying me," Jaleel posted on Facebook.

Senior IUML Lok Sabha member P K Kunhalikutty accused the LDF government of indulging in third-rate politics in connection with the gold smuggling case.

"The Left here is using the Quran for petty political games and this is nothing but cheap politics," Kunhalikutty said.

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