Controversial CPM MLA KT Jaleel appeared before the ED office in Kochi to give evidence related to black money dealings of top Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader and MLA PK Kunhalikutty and his son. Jaleel was forced to resign as minister in the Kerala government earlier this year after the Kerala Lok Ayukta found him guilty of nepotism.
There were signs back then that he would go rogue against the diktats of the Communist regime. He has now shown us the rot in the Cooperative banking sector. It is not just the Muslim League that is suffering the consequences of demonetization, the CPM is too. This prompted none other than Jaleel’s old mentor CM Pinarayi Vijayan to publicly reprimand him.
Jaleel said that the CM had the right to criticize, advise and correct him but added that he will continue his fight against Kunhalikutty’s black money, hawala dealings and amassment of illicit wealth.
He then appeared before the ED in Kochi and handed over evidence in connection with transactions of unaccounted money through the bank account of Chandrika Daily, the IUML mouthpiece. The ED is probing the allegations of money laundering through the bank account of the newspaper during demonetization. A director of the newspaper had deposited Rs. 10 crore in a single bank account of the daily in Ernakulam and several crores of rupees were deposited in accounts of another bank.
The AR Nagar bank branch in Malappuram
Jaleel also accused Kunhalikutty of hawala transactions conducted through the AR Nagar Service Co-operative Bank (AR Nagar means Abdurahiman Nagar). The bank is at Kollapuram in Malappuram district, deep inside the fiefdom of the Muslim League. Jaleel said that this particular bank is the ‘Swiss bank’ of Kunhalikutty and co., and alleged financial irregularity to the tune of Rs. 1,021 Cr.
“Investigation team has found black money and benami transactions worth Rs 1,021 crore in AR Nagar Service Co-operative Bank. The masterminds are the Muslim League leaders and former industries minister Shri PK Kunhalikutty MLA and his benami VK Harikumar,” said Jaleel.
“The Income Tax Department checked 257 customer IDs in a random check and detected a large number of black money transactions. But if all the customer IDs of AR Nagar Co-operative Bank are checked, the country will be rocked by the day-to-day looting of black money transactions, ” he added.
Kunhalikutty’s son Aashiq made a deposit of Rs 3 crore in AR Nagar Bank in violation of foreign exchange rules. Aashiq is an NRI and the cooperative Bank is not legally authorized to open NRI accounts. Aashiq deposited 1 crore but was being paid interest for Rs 3 crore and that too in cash. Those transactions are now under the purview of the RBI.
Kunhalikutty’s violations of the Income Tax Act have attracted a fine of Rs 1 crore 14 lakh but he is trying to get the black money legalized by paying a fine of Rs 35 lakh. According to the report, crores of rupees have been siphoned from the bank as ‘interest.’
Investigators found widespread erasure of customer addresses in the bank’s computer software. 12 employees of the bank have illegal deposits of Rs 6.8 crore. Another state vice-president of the Muslim League deposited Rs 2 crore using different customer ID accounts.
According to Jaleel, illegal transactions worth Rs 114 crore were made through these accounts in the last 10 years alone and the information was obtained after verifying just 257 customer IDs. The bank has over 50,000 members and over 80,000 accounts most of whom are ordinary workers and followers of the Muslim League. At least 862 fake accounts were created in the names of 257 customer IDs. These benami accounts were used to launder the ill-gotten wealth of Kunhalikutty and his cronies, it is allged.
Investigators found that Harikumar was made the Administrative Officer of the bank in late 2019 and he then made extensive corrections to the addresses linked to customer IDs in the database on the banking transaction software.
Jaleel estimates that the bank will have to pay a fine of Rs 1,021 crore. There is no way the bank will survive if and when it pays such a huge amount and it will surely collapse. Hard-earned money of Muslim League supporters will be lost, he added.
Meddling & Promotion
After Pinarayi Vijayan publicly pulled up Jaleel for demanding an ED probe, the CPM further distanced itself from him and the party-state secretary A Vijayaraghavan supported the CM’s statement. Vijayaraghavan told the media in Malappuram that it was the policy of the government to ‘promote’ the cooperative sector. He said that if at all there are any shortcomings in the cooperative sector, then the state has its own mechanisms in place to examine it.
Earlier, the CPM had conveyed the party’s displeasure over raising the ED investigation demand adding that it could lead to ED ‘meddling’ with the cooperative sector. The center was trying to intervene in the sector which has been a preserve of state governments, the party claimed.
What the CPM meant by ‘promotion’ and ‘meddling’ became apparent immediately. The AR Nagar Cooperative Bank facing severe allegations of irregularities initiated a mass transfer of employees. 23 employees, including those who gave statements against the malpractices, were transferred and the chief accountant was demoted.
All employees except for 3 were transferred from the branch. This led to staff alleging that the action was revenge against those who gave statements against malpractices in the bank.
This is proof of the unholy nexus between CPM and IUML which has been going on for years. The BJP said that the ED should investigate the scam and added that the links between Pinarayi and Kunhalikutty faction made the CM disown Jaleel.
For the record, KT Jaleel is a committed Islamist. He was a member of the now-banned SIMI, and has been seen making courtesy visits to terror blast accused Abdul Naseer Madani.
Kunhalikutty was an accused in the 1997 Kozhikode ice cream parlour sex racket case, where minorgirls were being sexually exploited by powerful men. However, a survivor withdrew her complaint, and later the Supreme Court closed the case in 2006 citing ‘lack of evidence’. Later, Kunhalikutty’s estranged brother-in-law alleged that the IUML leader had paid off two High Court judges and even the then Advocate General to get a favorable verdict. An SIT was set up to probe this charge, but nothing came off it. Kunhalikutty’s involvement has also been alleged in the 2003 Marad massacre where 8 Hindus were murdered by an Islamist mob.
The Sabarimala saga and Jaleel
As of now, Jaleel has lost his importance for the Communists to bring in Muslim votes. It is alleged that the baton has been handed over to the CM’s own Muslim son-in-law. Last year, the same Pinarayi was defending Jaleel when he was called in for questioning by ED in the gold-smuggling racket. But now hung out to dry, Jaleel stands alone.
This should come as a full circle for both Pinarayi & Jaleel. Hindu activists say that it was around the same time 5 years ago that the original plans to destroy Sabarimala Temple were set in motion by the Communist-Islamist regime. What followed is well known for its atrocity against Hindu values and traditions. But Hindus resisted strongly against that co-ordinated attack by Communists, Islamists, liberal activists and the Supreme Court. Sabarimala is safe, for now.