This Article is From Sep 25, 2020

"Have Done No Wrong": Kerala Minister Questioned By Probe Agencies

KT Jaleel was questioned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the case of smuggling of gold through diplomatic channels.

'Have Done No Wrong': Kerala Minister Questioned By Probe Agencies

KT Jaleel denied all opposition charges against him. (File)


Amid demands of resignation by the opposition, Kerala minister KT Jaleel, who was questioned by two central probe agencies, has said that he has done no wrong and that he is open to any number of agencies questioning him, any number of times.

Speaking to NDTV, Minister KT Jaleel said, "I am not an accused in any case. I was called by agencies for answering certain questions, for clarifications. I have told them everything I knew. Certain UDF (United Democratic Front) leaders had sent petitions to Prime Minister and other central ministries against me. It is their job to question me. I gave all the information I had."

KT Jaleel was questioned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the case of smuggling of gold through diplomatic channels. Leaked call recorded had showed calls exchanged between the now accused in the case and the minister. The minister had earlier said, those calls were made on the directive of the UAE Consul General, regarding distribution of food kits. The Enforcement Directorate has also questioned the minister regarding his involvement with a consignment of Qurans, received reportedly by UAE consulate.

"Arabs have a tradition of distributing food kits, Quran during Ramzan. UAE Consul General sought my help for their distribution after the lockdown. I just facilitated this for them. I have not received anything from them, not even a single rupee. This was just a religious and cultural activity."

On being asked about alleged violations while handling the consignments involving Qurans from the consulate, the minister said, "These consignments were cleared by the customs. State has no role in it. How am I responsible for it?"

"8,000 Quran copies came from Dubai. I think it was from Dubai government's. They (UAE consulate) sought my help to distribute 1,000 copies of Quran. Customs belongs to the central government. Customs cleared the diplomatic cargo," KT Jaleel added.

"When our Prime Minister visited UAE, he requested rulers of UAE to allot some acres of land to build a temple in UAE. They allotted whatever was required. This is the relation existing between UAE and India. The representative of such a nation like UAE, sought a help from me to distribute these in the masjids or to distribute the food kits. Is it a crime? This is the Himalayan crime which the opposition parties are raising against me. These are politically motivated allegations because opposition wants to tarnish me, because I left Muslim League and still won from their bastion."

The opposition in Kerala - Congress-led UDF and BJP - have been protesting against the ruling Left, and have been demanding the minister's resignation. The opposition had also alleged that the minister had tried to evade the media, hide facts by reaching the probe agency offices in private vehicles, and as early as 6 am.

"I was asked for a convenient time. I told them 6 am. The procedure at their office started by 6:15 am. I didn't tell anyone about the questioning, till information came out from the agencies, because I wanted to uphold the sanctity of these two institutions. This is how I see it," KT Jaleel said.

On being asked if he will be questioned again by probe agencies, the minister said, "Any and every agency is most welcome to make any enquiries about these incidents. I am 101 per cent confident of what I have done. I am not bothered about any agency questioning me."