Thiruvananthapuram: The state government and the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) are in a soup as a new job scam linked to tainted businesswoman Saritha S. Nair looks to be emerging.
The allegation is that Saritha Nair took money from prospective and unsuspecting people by offering them jobs in the Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco) and the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC).
Reports said she had even ‘issued’ forged letters of appointment to some of the ‘recruits.’ The complainants said Saritha Nair appeared to wield significant influence in Bevco and KTDC.
Sources said a thorough investigation was required to ascertain the kind of links that Saritha Nair had in the organisations.
The police have charged the accused with non-bailable offences like conspiracy, forgery, and fraud. Informed sources said Saritha Nair’s arrest could cause an embarrassment to the ruling front as she may divulge the names of her contacts in the said establishments.
Some 20 people had been cheated by Saritha Nair in this regard and most of them are workers of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI).
There was an allegation that a prominent leader of the Kerala Students’ Union (KSU) was made a member of a Commission under state government at the behest of Saritha Nair. The Corporation is handled by a senior CPM minister as it comes under his portfolio.
The new Saritha case at this juncture is also tilting the political balance as the already-infamous gold smuggling case had put the CPM in the dock. Now, the Saritha case is a trouble spot for alliance partner CPI as party leader T. Ratheesh is the first accused in the fake job racket case. Saritha Nair is the second accused and former independent candidate in the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat Shaju Paliode, the third accused.
The police had learnt that Ratheesh and Shaju roped in susceptible youngsters and collected money. Saritha dealt with those who called seeking money.
The Neyyattinkara police received a complaint on the fake job racket on November 6. By then, the CPI had announced the candidature of Ratheesh from the Paliode ward of Kunnathukal panchayat in Thiruvananthapuram.
It is said that an IPS officer instructed the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Neyyattinkara, to not take statements from the complainants.
The racket was operational from December 2018. The complainants said Saritha had introduced herself as an employee of the Secretariat. She had reportedly told them that the job offer was intact and they would get their money back if the word was not honoured.
The complainants had also sent money to the bank account of Saritha in Tirunelveli district. The police were in possession of Saritha’s voice clips in this regard.