‘Criminals attended Kerala home minister’s reception’

April 15th, 2008 - 8:01 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of ISRO

Kozhikode, April 15 (IANS) The Kerala unit of the youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Tuesday alleged that a businessmen embroiled in a controversial land deal had hosted the reception of the marriage of Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son last week. The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha president, K. Surendran, said here that businessman Savy Mano Mathew, who is involved in the controversial Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) land deal, had hosted the April 12 wedding reception of Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son.

Surendran said people from underworld and known criminals attended the reception.

“The reception, organised April 12, a day before the marriage, at Sree Moolam Club in Thiruvananthapuram was attended by known criminals,” said Surendran.

He said the hall for the function was booked in the name of Mathew, who supervised the event.

Mathew came into media focus when the ISRO purchased 82 acres of land at the Ponmudi hills, 70 km from Thiruvananthapuram, from him in March last year. The opposition parties have alleged that the land belonged to the state government’s forest department and Mathew sold it illegally in connivance with Forest Minister Binoy Viswom.

Following the opposition protests, the government cancelled the land deal and offered an alternative site to ISRO.

Surendran said: “This incident substantiates the allegations that those in the government connived with Savy Mano Mathew” in the land deal.

Earlier, there was another allegation that the home minister was staying in the house taken on rent from Mathew.

Surendran said no political leader attended the reception organised at the state capital. “Those who attended the function include people belonging to the underworld don Dawood’s gang.” The members of the underworld from Dubai and Kuwait, who have business interests in the state, attended the reception, he added.

He asked the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) to explain its stand on the issue and asked Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan to reply to the charges.

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