Kerala social activist’s husband held for smuggling

April 5th, 2008 - 9:51 pm ICT by admin  

Kozhikode, April 5 (IANS) T.P. Yakub, husband of well-known social activist and former ultra Left leader K. Ajitha, was arrested Saturday for his alleged role in the smuggling of spirit, police said. The case relates to smuggling of spirit to Kerala from Tamil Nadu using the special transit (green channel) facility for bringing cement from the Kerala government’s Malabar Cements Ltd, located near the border between the two states in Palakkad district.

Yakub was a transport contractor for the cement company.

Ajitha, however, claims that Yakub is innocent and there is a conspiracy behind his arrest. “My husband was arrested to destroy me,” she told IANS.

Ajitha has been leading a dogged legal campaign against former minister and Indian Union Muslim League leader P.K. Kunhalikutty, whom she says was involved in the infamous Kozhikode ice-cream parlour sex racket.

“I think Kunhalikutty and a businessman associated with the supply of sacks to the cement company are behind the arrest of my husband. My husband has been in the transport business for the last 25 years. He never faced an allegation like this before.

“The ice-cream parlour case is at a crucial stage. My petition is now before the Supreme Court. That is why Yakub is being targeted,” Ajitha said.

Kunhalikutty’s name cropped up in the 1997 sex racket that was run by a woman under the cover of an ice cream parlour here, which was visited by some top politicians and influential businessmen.

Police, however, said Yakub was arrested for misusing the brass token provided to his transport company, Expertlines, for making use of the green channel facility at the Walayar check point near the state border.

“We have proof that his company handed over the brass token to the spirit mafia,” said Neeresh Kumar Gupta, assistant superintendent of police, Palakkad.

Though the cement factory is located inside Kerala, the consignments from the factory have to cross the state government’s inter-state checkpoint at Walayar near the factory. The mafia had been using the green channel facility for the government company to smuggle spirit into Kerala.

The smuggling came to light Jan 24 last when excise department officials seized a truck carrying spirit at the checkpoint. The search of the vehicle yielded 8,540 litres of spirit.

Police till now have arrested 14 people in the case.

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