People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
November 07, 2004
are the king pins? With whom are they connected? How close are the links with
select politicians? These are the questions that are being raised in Kerala.
This time, it is a 700 crore 'hawala' racket in Kerala which could have its
political ripples following allegations about involvement of certain
politicians. Already, the leader of the opposition V S Achuthanandan told
newspersons here today that the central and state governments should conduct a
joint inquiry into all the aspects, including the alleged role of certain ruling
United Democratic Front (UDF) leaders. It was also suspected that the hawala
money could have been utilised for extremists activities, he added. It may be
recalled that the CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan also alleged that
though there was a similar case two years ago, the government did not show the
seriousness expected of it in probing it. All this happened in the midst of
reports that the state government had entrusted the probe to a Joint Task Force
of various state and Central Intelligence agencies.
had indeed been mounting on Chandy government to probe into hawala racket, for
quite some time. While former chief minister A K Antony and former union
minister of state O Rajagopal demanded a comprehensive inquiry by the CBI and
other central agencies, leader of the opposition V S Achuthanandan wanted a
joint inquiry by central and state agencies into all the aspects.
minister Oommen Chandy, however, maintained that it was for the central agencies
to look into the matter. "We don't have anything to hide. But our role is
limited only to the extent of finding out the utilisation of the hawala
money," he told newspersons at Palakkad, recently. Also there were reports
that some politicians were among the beneficiaries of the hawala transactions.
All the aspects, including the alleged role of certain ruling (UDF) leaders and
the money's possible use for extremist activities, should be investigated,
is not true. When the initial report of hawala transactions to the tune of Rs
336 crore came to my notice I ordered an inquiry into it when I was the chief
minister," Antony said. There had been no lapse in the inquiries by the
Vigilance and Crime Branch, after the probe was ordered, he added.
holding the press conference for the first time after relinquishing the office
of the chief minister in August 2004, termed as baseless the allegations that
his government had suppressed facts relating to the investigation.
"In my knowledge, the investigation is still going on," he
despite crores of rupees flowing into Kerala through illegal route, chief
minister Oommen Chandy today admitted that his government was completely in dark
over the utilisation of Rs 700 crore hawala money that reached the state during
2000-03 period "We don't have any information about the utilisation of the
hawala money. Till now, there is no
evidence to prove the involvement of any politician in the case," the chief
minister told newspersons here after a Cabinet meeting.
said the State Vigilance and Crime Branch were probing into the utilisation of
the hawala money, especially to find out whether it was routed for any extremist
activities or drug trafficking. Now,
the investigation would be handed over to the newly-constituted inter-state
intelligence cell which would be under the direct control of the Director
General of Police.
to the demand of former chief minister A K Antony to hand over the case to the
CBI, Oommen Chandy said various central agencies were already investigating the
case. Of the 14 accused in the
earlier Rs 336 crore hawala case, seven of them, including four Keralites, had
already been arrested Of the remaining seven accused, two are from Kerala.
the chief minister refused to disclose the names of the two Keralites against
whom the Central agencies issued arrest warrants. The state police has found
that at present they are not in Kerala.
it may be recalled that the CPI(M) leader Vijay Raghavan had also shown a letter
to the union home minister Shivraj Patel. The letter sought his active
letter stated, As per the investigation carried out by the Directorate of
Enforcement a Hawala Transaction involving an amount of Rs 700 crore has been
revealed. This hawala money has
been handed over to various people in the state of Kerala through many Mumbai
Banks having branches in the state. I would like to recall that this issue of
Hawala transactions was raised in the parliament by me through a Question No 128
are apprehensions that this amount may be used for anti-national activities. There were reports in the media that anti-National
organisations were planning to gain foothold in the state exploiting the
vulnerable geographical and demographical conditions of the state. I am
constrained to note here that even a serious matter of this magnitude was not
given utmost importance which is evident from the snail pace progress of the
investigation and the delay in bringing the culprits to book. It is also disturbing to note that the state government has
taken a casual approach in dealing with a situation, which poses serious threat
to the social harmony in the state. No arrest has so far been made even after
the publication of the investigation report.
In view of the seriousness of the situation Vijay Raghavan requested the home minister to take urgent and appropriate measures for a thorough and detailed enquiry into the matter so that the culprits are brought to book and any kind of activities in the state by anti-national elements are nipped in the bud.
from the parliament indicate that the matter has been spot lighted in various
ways from 2002. Infact five banks and at least 38 persons are allegedly
involved. The controversy rages on as do moves to dismiss it lightly and cover