Thiruvananthapuram, July 16 : The democratic youth federation of India (DYFI), the youth wing of the CPI(M), has sought to put union minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan in the dock after the admin attache of the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram left for Dubai.
Rashed Khamis Ali Musaiqri Alshemeli, the acting in charge at the UAE consulate, reportedly left India for Dubai even as suspicions were being raised about his alleged involvement in the smuggling of gold through a diplomatic baggage addressed to the UAE consulate.
Call details of the accused in the gold smuggling case reportedly showed that the admin attache had been in regular contact with them prior to the seizure of the gold by the customs officials. The NIA has been reportedly pressing the centre seeking permission to question him.
The DYFI state secretariat called on the union external affairs ministry to explain why the attache was allowed to leave for Dubai, saying that the diplomat’s leaving the country when questions were being raised against him in connection with gold smuggling was a grave issue.
Training its guns on V Muraleedharan, the DYFI alleged that the minister of state for external affairs and the BJP leadership gave their tacit approval for the diplomat to leave the country to sabotage the NIA probe into the gold smuggling case.
Muraleedharan had been loath to demand a probe by a central agency. He had also tried to establish that the air cargo consignment from which the customs officials seized the gold was not a diplomatic baggage, the DYFI said.
The admin attache of the UAE consulate abruptly leaving the country has raised doubts about his involvement in the case. The diplomat, however, enjoys immunity under the provisions of the Vienna convention.
A gold smuggling scandal broke out in the state after customs officials seized 30kg of gold on July 5 from an air cargo consignment disguised as a diplomatic baggage addressed to the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.