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Swapna Suresh, main accused in Kerala gold smuggling case joins NGO, assumes charge as Director, women empowerment & CSR

HRDS India is an NGO with Guru Atma Nambi as its president and Aji Krishnan as its secretary.

Swapna Suresh, one of the main accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case, joined an NGO named High Range Development Society (HRDS) India on February 18. The NGO which is based in Palakkad, offered Suresh the post of Director, Women empowerment and CSR at its office in Thodupuzha with a monthly salary of Rs 43,000.

According to the reports, she joined the organisation at the Skill Training Centre of HRDS India’s office in Thodupuzha after she was issued the offer letter on February 12. The appointment of Swapna Suresh has emerged into a huge political controversy with rising accusations against her to have attained the position because of her alleged affiliation with the RSS and BJP. People have also claimed that the NGO is backed by the RSS or BJP. Suresh on Sunday confirmed that she was being harassed and that unnecessary controversy was being weaved around her new job.

She clarified that she had to follow all the given procedures to get the position as Director, Women empowerment and CSR in the NGO and that it was quite an ordinary job with an ordinary salary of just Rs 43,000. She said that she had taken up the job to look after her children and her old mother.

“Let me live. Let me raise my children and take care of my mother. Please do not harass me by creating unnecessary controversies. I have no intention to harm or hurt anyone, so please leave me alone”, she was quoted.

The HRDS meanwhile opined that she was appropriate for the position as she is equipped with excellent communication and vast contact network. The HRDS also said that it saw no harm in appointing Suresh as the Director of the organisation amid the gold smuggling case as she has not been convicted yet.

This is specifically after the Kerala State Commission for SC/STs initiated proceedings against NGO over complaints alleging that they constructed uninhabitable houses for Adivasis in Attappadi and elsewhere. Suresh reiterated that relentless attempts have been made to deliberately harass her and requested the public to stop giving political angle to her employment.

BJP denies allegations, says the NGO has no links with their party

BJP state president K Surendran also has denied the allegations of the NGO being affiliated to RSS or BJP and said that the private company was headed by a former leader of SFI. “The NGO has no connection with BJP”, Surendran was quoted.

It is important to note that Swapna Suresh is the primary defendant in the Kerala gold smuggling case where the customs officials at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport ceased gold weighing over 30 kilograms and valued at almost Rs 15 crore. The action was initiated against Suresh and other diplomats in 2020 after the custom officials got information that the suitcase carrying gold was a part of a huge smuggling network involving rampant misuse of diplomatic passports.

Earlier in the month of February 2021, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s Principal Secretary M Sivasankar, who is also an accused, in his autobiography had already declared Suresh as guilty in the case and accused her of deceiving him. Swapna Suresh then lambasted the senior bureaucrat and exposed that Sivasankar was aware of the diplomatic luggage and that everything she did while on the run from police was on Sivasankar’s orders.

She stated that they were close and that after taking voluntary retirement, Sivasnakar wanted to settle down with her in Dubai. She also said that Sivasankar deliberately orchestrated the NIA’s involvement in the gold smuggling case in order to keep Swapna quiet. Accusing him of manipulating, exploiting and destroying her life, Suresh said that the book published by Sivasankar narrated his version of the controversial episode.

Reports mention that HRDS India is an NGO that works for the betterment of tribal people in the state. Its activities include the construction of pre-fabricated houses for Adivasis. Guru Atma Nambi is its president and Aji Krishnan is its secretary. The organisation’s main source of resources includes CSR funds from corporate and foreign donations. With its three skill training centres in Thodupuzha, Coimbatore and Kannur, the NGO also undertakes farming activities like medicinal plant cultivation in Adivasi inhabited areas.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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