Kerala BJP chief K Surendran, son named witnesses in police chargesheet of Kodakara hawala heist

K surendran
K Surendran was questioned by a special investigation team at the Thrissur Police Club.

The Kerala police team probing the Kodakara hawala heist case on Friday submitted their chargesheet before a local court at Irinjalakuda in Thrissur district.

There are 22 accused in the case which triggered a huge political controversy in the state as names of several BJP leaders cropped up in connection with it.

The chargesheet was filed in connection with the case of alleged heist of hawala money and conspiracy behind the crime that occurred during the time of Assembly elections in April this year.
In the chargesheet running into 625 pages, the investigation team named 219 people including BJP state chief K Surendran as witnesses.

The chargesheet has named BJP Kerala unit president K Surendran and his son as witnesses. The investigation team, in its chargesheet, said that the probe into the case will continue. The SIT has alleged that the money was brought for the BJP during the elections and recommended a probe by the central agencies including Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax and the Election Commission to trace the source of looted money.

On Wednesday, Surendran was questioned for 90 minutes and let off, and so were more than a dozen top- and middle-level leaders of the BJP in Thrissur district.

The BJP's Kerala unit was caught on the back foot when a complaint was filed with the Thrissur rural police that a sum of Rs 25 lakh, being carried by the complainant in his vehicle to pay as advance in a land transaction, had been stolen from him on the Thrissur-Kodakara highway in April.

The BJP has accused the state's Left government of targeting Surendran in order to divert the attention from other cases faced by the state government.

The police complaint coincided with reports that tribal leader C.K. Janu's party, JRP, received Rs 10 lakh from Surendran for returning to the BJP-led NDA.

The revelation by JRP treasurer Praseeda Azhikode was quickly denied by Surendran and Janu, who threatened to take legal action against his own party functionary.

The Congress has alleged that the ruling CPM and the BJP has struck a deal to settle the case. The opposition party made the allegation recently following reports that no BJP leader was named as accused in the chargesheet. 

Congress legislator Ramesh Chennithala said that this was the outcome of a deal struck between the ruling CPM and the BJP.

The former Leader of Opposition told the media that there were doubts being voiced about the probe for quite some time. It was being feared that the probe could be a cover-up to give a clean chit to the BJP.

The SIT investigated the case based on a complaint filed by Shamjeer Samsudheen that in the first week of April, a gang had stopped his car on the Kodakara flyover in Thrissur district and looted Rs 25 lakh kept in the vehicle when he was on his way to Kochi from Kozhikode.


Though the complaint had stated that only Rs 25 lakh was stolen, the investigators later found that the actual amount could be about Rs 3.5 crore and it was a "hawala" transaction.


Last week, the Kerala High Court had dismissed the bail pleas of 10 accused in the heist case, saying the source of the looted money has not been traced, some of the co-accused are still at large, while several witnesses remain to be examined and a lot of evidence has to be retrieved.


The high court had also said there were numerous mysterious aspects in the case, like the police being alerted regarding the heist four days after the incident and the complainant alleging that only Rs 25 lakh was looted whereas the probe revealed that Rs 3.5 crore was being carried and all of it was stolen.

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