A short voice clip, purportedly of gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh who is now in judicial custody, has kicked up a political storm.
In the clip put out by a local news portal, Swapna is purportedly heard saying that she would be made an approver if she confessed that she went to UAE with M Sivasankar—former principal secretary to CM Pinarayi Vijayan and an accused in the case—for financial negotiations meant for the Chief Minister. She is also heard purportedly saying that “they”—an apparent reference to ED officials—did not allow her to read her statement, but scrolled through it and asked her to sign it.
Swapna is lodged at a sub-jail in Thiruvananthapuram.
The voice clip emerged hours after BJP state president K Surendran alleged that many persons close to Chief Minister Vijayan and Finance Minister Thomas Isaac visited Swapna at jail without mandatory permission. He demanded that the Home Department release the list of persons who visited her.
DGP (prisons) Rishiraj Singh said cyber police have been asked to examine the authenticity of the clip. DIG (prisons) Ajaya Kumar, who met Swapna after the clip emerged, said the voice was prima facie identified as that of her, but it was not recorded from the jail. She has said she didn’t know who recorded it, said Kumar.
The CPM state secretariat, in a statement, alleged that the ED is targeting the Chief Minister.
An ED source said, “The voice clip shows certain quarters are worried and more persons still outside the purview of the case are involved.”
Union Minister V Muraleedharan alleged that the clip had been put out as part of a conspiracy at the CMO. State Congress chief Mullappally Ramachandran asked: “Who helped Swapna send out such a message from jail, which is under the Home Department handled by the Chief Minister.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines