Kerala Higher Education Minister KT Jaleel in soup as Centre orders probe into UAE aid

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The minister denied any foul play in the aid and welcomed any kind of probe aginst him on the matter

Trouble is mounting for Kerala’s Minister of Higher Education KT Jaleel as the Centre has ordered an investigation in the wake of allegations that he allegedly received aid from UAE’s Consulate violating protocol.

The minister, however, denied any foul play in the aid and welcomed any kind of probe aginst him on the matter.

The Union Home Ministry reportedly asked the Enforcement Directorate to conduct an enquiry whether any violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) took place while accepting the UAE aid, reported Manorama.

Apart from this, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is expected to look into complaints of distributing Quran in the state after bringing them from the UAE.

The Centre ordered probe into the matter in the wake of nearly a dozen complaints received from Kerala against the minister.

A person from Malappuram district in northern Kerala, Siddiq, reportedly moved a court seeking permission to prosecute Jaleel on charges of violating the norms, according to Reporter.

The minister courted controversy after he received food packets from UAE Consulate in the state capital and allegedly distributed them in his constituency in Malappuram district in June this year.

When the Opposition raised protocol violation issue, Jaleel had come up with an explanation saying that he did it following the request from the Consulate as Ramzan gift.

However, the trouble mounted for him when it was revealed that he allegedly received 30 boxes carrying Quran from the Consulate meant for distribution in the state. He allegedly used state government’s vehicles to transport them to the destination.

The Opposition was quick to allege that he smuggled gold under the cover of the religious books and demanded the Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF government to sack the minister for this gross violation of the norms.  

Interestingly, his name cropped up in the public domain during the investigation into the gold smuggling case.

The NIA claimed that there is solid proof against the minister for his connection with one of the accused in the case, Swapna Suresh.  

Image credit: Manorama

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