Wednesday’s raid by Enforcement Directorate (ED) at the house of Bineesh Kodiyeri, the son of CPM Kerala secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, at Maruthankuzhy ended after a day of high drama.
On Thursday (November 5), Bineesh’s family staged a dharna in front of the house and filed complaints with the police and the Kerala child rights commission, alleging that ED officials put them under illegal house arrest for a day and night, without even allowing them to buy food for Bineesh’s two-and-a-half-year-old child.
Manoj Kumar KV, the chairman of Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights said he was refused permission to meet the child and the family when he reached Bineesh’s residence with his team.
“Initially, they denied us permission to meet the child and mother. Later, we issued a formal notice to the ED officials who were there at the house. Only then did they allow us to talk to the child and the mother,” Manoj told The Federal.
“What we have witnessed at their house is a complete violation of child rights. The officials were present in uniform and armed men (CRPF) in uniform were also present. We found that the child was very scared and was refusing even food,” Manoj said.
He said the commission would issue an order on its observations on Thursday itself.
Bineesh was arrested by ED on October 29 in connection with money laundering allegedly carried out as part of a drugs racket in Bengaluru.
The ED’s raid at his residence in Thiruvananthapuram, which started around 10 am on Wednesday (November 4), lasted for 24 hours.
Bineesh’s relatives reached the house on Thursday morning with food for the family but were allegedly denied permission to get in.
Later, the family members staged a dharna outside the house and filed complaints with the police, alleging that they have been put under illegal custody and have been tortured by ED officials.
Sources, however, said that the raid took long because the family refused to sign documents and materials allegedly seized by the ED from Bineesh’s house.
“They asked me to sign (a statement saying) that a credit card in the name of one Anoop Mohammed was found from our home. That was a false allegation. That card was brought by them and I refused to sign it. They threatened me that Bineesh would land in more trouble if I refused to sign,” Bineesh’s wife Renita told the media.
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Bineesh’s family also alleged that the ED officials were sitting inside the house without doing anything for hours. “They were talking to each other and were having food. When we asked them permission to go out, they refused,” said Bineesh’s maternal aunt.
The family also alleged that they have not been given permission to meet Bineesh yet since his arrest.
The CPM has not made any statement with regard to the arrest of Bineesh. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan maintains that the state government will not interfere in any investigation irrespective of the persons involved.