DGP (Prisons) Rishiraj Singh has ordered a probe after gold smuggling accused Swapna Suresh approached the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate claiming that there was a threat to her life while in judicial custody at the Attakulangara women’s jail in Thiruvananthapuram.
“I have informed the south zone DIG (Prisons) to conduct a proper inquiry into the complaint. The findings of the probe should be reported to the government immediately,” Singh told reporters on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Swapna filed a plea before the Magistrate requesting protection while in judicial custody. In her plea application, Swapna claimed that a group, “identifiable” as police and prison officials, warned her against revealing the names of VIPs suspected to be involved in criminal activities. They also told her not to cooperate with investigating agencies. Swapna claimed that they are capable of inflicting harm on her family and also of taking her life inside the jail. The court accepted her protection plea and directed the DGP (Prisons) to do the needful.
The police and prison authorities have denied Swapna’s claim despite DGP Singh ordering a probe into her complaint. According to reports, the CCTV footage of the women’s jail will be inspected to find out whether she was visited by anyone.
On November 17, Kerala BJP president K Surendran alleged that several people were visiting Swapna in jail with the knowledge of the jail superintendent and without the permission of the Customs. Following this, DGP Singh sent a notice to Surendran warning of legal action if the state BJP president does not stop propagating fake news.
However after Swapna's death threat claims emerged, Surendran said that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is trying to use the police to eliminate the case. “It is clear that Swapna has received death threats. Since she has secret information on the CM, Assembly Speaker and ministers, they will want to finish her off. The CM is trying to use the police to wipe off the case,” Surendran told reporters on Wednesday, adding that Vijayan’s private secretary CM Raveendran’s life is also in danger. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued notice to Raveendran for questioning in regards to the gold smuggling case.
Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala also alleged the same as Surendran and added that Swapna and Raveendran are trying to protect Vijayan. “To protect the Chief Minister, Raveendran has been falling ill whenever the ED has asked him to appear for questioning. His life is in danger. The government must give Raveendran security and send a team of medical experts to check on him,” Chennithala said.