P.S. Sarith, an accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case who is imprisoned in the Central Prison in Thiruvananthapuram, has alleged that he is being tortured in the jail by cops and forced to name BJP and Congress leaders in the case. He made the allegations during his deposition before a special NIA court in Kochi on Saturday.
After his statement before the court, the NIA court ordered the Kerala Police chief Anil Kant to ensure that Sarith is not ill-treated in the prison. Sarith told the court that three officials including the jail superintendent are tormenting him by not allowing him to even sleep and waking him up in the middle of the night. He repeated the same to the journalists after the hearing in the court.
He P.S. Sarith said that the cops are forcing him to name prominent leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress in the case. He alleged that three policemen, including the Poojappura Central Prison Superintendent, are constantly torturing him in the jail.
On the other hand, the jail superintendent has submitted a counter allegation that Sarith and another accused Ramees KT are not following prison rules. He told the NIA special court that Rameez was found using illegal substances in his cell on July 5.
Reacting to the statements made by Sarith before the court, Kerala BJP president K. Surendran said that it is unacceptable the way things are happening with the knowledge of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who is engaged in heinous acts against the Congress and the BJP leaders in the gold smuggling case.
After the allegations made by the accused, the Customs department is considering if the accused in the case can be shifted to a jail outside the state.
Sarith is a former employee of the UAE Consulate in UAE, and it is alleged that he was smuggling gold using the diplomatic baggage of the consulate. Another former Consulate staff Swapna Suresh and her associate Sandip Nair are also arrested by the NIA in connection with the high-profile case.