EP Jayarajan's wife breaks quarantine to open bank locker after son's pictures with Swapna emergeby K P Safeena
Kozhikode: Central agencies are investigating the alleged locker transaction of P K Indira, the wife of Kerala Minister for Industries and Sports E P Jayarajan, at the Kannur branch of Kerala Bank while in quarantine, in violation of the COVID-19 protocol.
Indira opened the locker at the bank shortly after central agencies launched an investigation into pictures that emerged showing her son with Swapna Suresh, a key accused in the gold smuggling case.
Indira had retired as a senior manager from the same branch.
She went to the bank in the afternoon on September 10 while she was under quarantine after submitting a sample for COVID tests. According to the COVID protocol, a person has to remain in quarantine till the test results come.
Indira was later shifted to a hospital after results showed she had COVID. Three people from the bank are also now in quarantine.
On Thursday, after she went to the bank with a bag and completed her locker transaction, she got a one-sovereign gold necklace that she had in her hands weighed.
Bank employees pointed out that this was unusual.
As a result, the gold appraiser has had to go in quarantine. She also did some transactions in connection with fixed deposits. The employee who handles fixed deposits and the manager who went with Indira to open the locker are also now in quarantine.
The bank's CCTV has captured visuals of Indira entering and leaving on September 10, in violation of her quarantine. She had also signed the locker register on that day. The bank doesn't have to be told what she took from the locker.
What has raised suspicion is the urgency shown by Indira in doing the locker transaction by breaking the COVID protocol, an offence for which the police can register a case.
There is also suspicion about the keys of four lockers in the bank that have been missing for a very long time. The former district bank manager of the bank had earlier reported to the general manager that the keys, which had not been handed over to anyone, had been lost.
Rules stipulate that a locker with a missing key should be broken open and a new key should be made. But, the bank authorities have so far not taken any action to break open the four lockers.
Central investigation agencies have obtained information that Indira's son is among those who allegedly shared the Rs 4 crore believed to have been paid as commission for a Life Mission project.
The pictures the agencies have obtained show he had a close friendship with Swapna Suresh, one of the main accused in the gold smuggling case. They believe the pictures were taken in the room of a hotel in the state capital owned by prominent film stars. The agencies will summon him for questioning to obtain more evidence of his dealings with Swapna.
Investigators believe he played a key role in the change of hands of the Rs 4 crore paid as commission in the Life Mission deal.
There was an intermediary besides Swapna Suresh and the minister's son in the hotel room. Out of the Rs 2 crore initially handed over to them as commission, the intermediary was promised Rs 30 lakh. The pictures came out when the minister's son did not keep the promise, investigating officials said.