Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan made it clear to the Assembly on Tuesday that at first glance he could not blame his senior police officials, including former state police chief Loknath Behera, for their closeness. alleged with the fake antiquarian Monson Mavunkal.
“It was Behera himself who asked the intelligence wing to investigate the fraudster’s affairs,” the chief minister said, while responding to a motion for adjournment on the matter.
Nonetheless, all the facts that the Prime Minister posed to the Assembly seem to finally turn around and point the finger at the police forces under his command.
Take for example the chronology given by the chief minister of the intervention of the former DGP in the Mavunkal file. Pinarayi was obviously trying to establish that his former DGP, like any smart and daring police officer, was only trying to assess Mavunkal and his storehouse of antiques when he was seated with “Moses staff” on the “Tipu throne.” Sultan ”.
Pinarayi said Behera asked the intelligence ADGP to investigate Mavunkal’s transactions on June 13, 2019, after her visit to the trickster’s lair. The ADGP submitted a preliminary report on November 25 of the same year. Behera requested more details on December 21, which were provided without delay on January 1, 2020.
“According to the files I have with me, all of this has been done,” the chief minister said. Then he blamed the Center. “The DGP then sent a letter to the Enforcement Directorate on February 5 requesting the central agency to investigate the matter. The ED however did not initiate any investigation,” he said, as if the ball was now in the center court.
But, as opposition leader VD Satheesan asked: “What has the police department done with the intelligence report for two whole years. Satheesan said the intelligence report said Mavunkal, who posed as a cosmetic surgeon, had not graduated from school. He also said that most of the artifacts in his collection were fakes, and noted that some were even stolen. The report even called Mavunkal a “global fraudster”.
Although the Home Office is in possession of such a report, the Chief Minister was asked why his former DGP ordered the police to provide official protection to the Mavunkal residence which held these fake antiques. A beat box was kept near the entrance to Mavunkal’s residence to ensure that counterfeits were handed over to police custody around the clock. The opposition leader also said it was the police protection which gave credibility to the counterfeits of Mavunkal.
To all the difficult questions put to him today, the Prime Minister answered categorically: “The police investigation which is now in place will look into this”.
He was also asked how Mavunkal and a self-proclaimed social worker based in Italy could participate in COCON, a global summit on cybercrime organized by the police department. The chief minister said that too would be probed.
Congressman PT Thomas, who moved the motion, wanted to know why the chief minister was reluctant to act against his former DGP. “The CAG found serious corruption in the police modernization program and yet you did not lift a finger against Behera,” he said. He asked why the chief minister was so protective of an officer that Narendra Modi and Amit Shah wanted to appoint as director of the CBI.
Then, as proof that Pinarayi would continue to protect Behera, Thomas waved a government decree dated October 3 that he said had generously revised Behera’s salary in his new position, the managing director of Kocho Metro Rail Limited. “Do you have the courage to sign Behera’s dismissal order with the same pen you used to raise her salary,” Thomas said.
Pinarayi did not respond. The chief minister’s strategy, even in defending his officials, was to attack KPCC chairman K Sudhakaran. During his speech, the Prime Minister occasionally referred to Mavunkal’s cosmetic business and, without naming names, sought to form an association with Sudhakaran. “We know who went for treatment there,” he said.
Since Sudhakaran himself had said he had traveled to Mavunkal for a cosmetic consultation, Satheesan took the Chief Minister’s dig head on. “There is nothing wrong with taking cosmetic treatment. It is one of the most successful businesses in Kerala,” Satheesan said and added: “If you knew this guy was a fraud, anyone one would offer his face to such a person. “