The Enforcement Directorate (ED) Thursday arrested Bineesh Kodiyeri, son of Kerala CPI(M) secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, in connection with alleged financial transactions he had with a suspect arrested by the NCB for peddling drugs in Bengaluru.
Bineesh was arrested after he was questioned for three hours at the ED’s Bengaluru office. He arrived at the Bengaluru Zonal office in Shanthinagar at 11 am for questioning. After questioning he was taken into custody and was produced in the Bengaluru Sessions Court and he has been sent to the custody of ED for four days, according to ED officials. Read this news in Malayalam
#JUSTIN: The Enforcement Directorate today arrested Binish Kodiyeri, son of Kerala CPI(M) general secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, in connection with alleged financial transactions he had with a suspect arrested by the NCB for peddling drugs in Bengaluru. @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/foFumzV6H4
— Darshan Devaiah B P (@DarshanDevaiahB) October 29, 2020
This is the second time he has been summoned by the ED in connection with his links to Mohammed Anoop, who was arrested by the NCB on August 22. Anoop, 38, and two others had been arrested on the basis of information that they were involved in supplying drugs at rave parties in Bengaluru.
Earlier, the ED had questioned Bineesh on October 6 in Bengaluru. The NCB probe has revealed that Bineesh had given funds to Anoop to help him start a hotel business in Bengaluru.
Bineesh was also questioned by the ED in Kerala over alleged links to persons arrested in connection with a gold-smuggling racket in the state.
Incidentally, a probe into drug usage by top celebrities and film personalities in Karnataka by the Bengaluru crime branch began soon after the NCB arrests of August 22.
Reacting to the arrest, V Muraleedharan, BJP leader and MoS for External Affairs, told reporters, “The state (Kerala) government is involved in a gold smuggling case and the ruling party in a drugs case. There cannot be a bigger insult than this. The CPM must think whether Kodiyeri Balakrishnan should continue as state secretary.”
Meanwhile, A Vijayaraghavan, the LDF convenor told Manorama news, “If the party secretary commits wrongdoing, the CPM will take moral responsibility. But the party does not have moral responsibility for the party secretary’s son. Here, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has not indulged in any illegal activity. Moreover, he has distanced himself from his son and clarified his stand when the allegations had first come up.”
Congress’ Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala termed Bineesh’s arrest by the ED a matter of shame for Kerala’s people. “How is the CPM giving leadership to such underworld activities? Which leader is this party trying to protect? This is a matter of shame for Kerala’s people and they are forced to hang their heads. Gold smuggling, drug-trafficking, human-trafficking – a democratic government is indulging itself in these acts,” said Chennithala.
Mullappally Ramachandran, the state Congress president said, “If there is no political interference on the part of the BJP in the investigation, there will be more clues pointing to the involvement of more CPM leaders and their families in such anti-national activities.”
This is not the first time Bineesh, an actor-turned-businessman, has landed in controversy. In 2013, then home minister and Congress leader Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan had said that Bineesh had obtained a passport illegally when his father was serving as Home Minister during the previous LDF regime. He added that there were six criminal cases charged against him for various offences of which five were withdrawn when his father was in office.
His elder brother Binoy has been no stranger to controversy either. In 2018, cases of cheating were filed against him by the Dubai police after Binoy allegedly failed to pay a tour operator a sum of Rs 1.74 crores. Later, a travel ban was also placed on him by authorities in Dubai. Last year, police in Mumbai filed a rape case against him after a 33-year-old woman accused him of sexually assaulting her on the pretext of marriage. The trial is still going on in the case.
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