On Monday, Hindu Seva Kendra president Pratheesh Viswanath posted a picture portraying the alleged brutality of the Kerala Police on a protester in the state. The picture shows a policeman purportedly kneeling on a person's neck, thereby causing the latter a great deal of agony. Multiple groups of protesters including the Kerala Students Union were seeking the resignation of Kerala Minority Affairs Minister KT Jaleel for his alleged involvement in the gold smuggling scam.
In his tweet, the Hindu Seva Kendra president also compared the police action to George Floyd's killing in the USA on May 25, 2020. Floyd, a resident of Minnesota was arrested after being accused of using a counterfeit 20 dollars note. On the pretext of restraining him, a white police officer kneeled on his neck for at least 7 minutes despite the 46-year-old African-American man repeatedly saying, "I can't breathe". However, Floyd became unconscious as the officer remained in that position longer and the former was pronounced dead subsequently. This sparked huge protests across the globe.
I cant breathe was slogan raised by leftists when George Floid was martyred.— Pratheesh Viswanath (@pratheesh_Hind) September 14, 2020
This is Kerala police handling those who protest against CPM Ministers who were partners of Swapna in gold smuggling.#KeralaGoldSmuggling pic.twitter.com/2NyC1k1Jxb
On July 5, Customs officials seized 30 kg of gold worth Rs.15 crore at the Thiruvananthapuram Airport from a diplomatic cargo addressed to a person in the UAE Consulate. Sarith Kumar, who worked at the UAE Consulate was arrested in this regard. Reportedly, he told the Customs about the role of Swapna Suresh, working in Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Limited. The case took a political turn after photos with Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan surfaced. Following the backlash over her appointment, she was sacked by the state government.
Apart from the Customs and the ED, the NIA has also registered an FIR in the gold smuggling case. Various sections of the UAPA were slapped against Sarith Kumar, Swapna Suresh, Fazil Fareed, Sandeep Nair, and others. The NIA has alleged that the smuggled gold was not used for jewellery purposes but for funding terror activities. On September 11, Jaleel was questioned by the ED in Kochi.
Earlier in the day, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan extended his support to Jaleel. Mentioning that the ED had questioned his Cabinet colleague about the consignment to the UAE consulate containing the Quran, he opined that there was no ground to suggest any wrongdoing. Moreover, he contended that some people and organizations were trying to create a law and order situation in the state. To buttress his point, he highlighted that two Yuva Morcha members were arrested on September 13 for purposefully stopping KT Jaleel's vehicle. There is speculation that the NIA and Customs might also question the state Higher Education Minister.