Cooperative bank fraud not limited to Karuvannur, but across Kerala: MoS Rajeev Chandrasekhar
The Kerala Police filed FIRs saying that the accused in Karuvannur bank scam were embezzling public funds and that more than one loan had been granted to the same person against the bank loan cap while being secured by the same asset.
Delhi: Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that there is definite evidence of misappropriation of poor people's money in Karuvannur. He said that strong action will be taken against the wrongdoers. He said, "It is untrue that the ED inquiry is raising concerns among the general public. It is necessary to punish the wrongdoers. Corruption is uncompromising. Fraud is not exclusive to one bank."
Chandrasekhar also claimed there is widespread corruption in the state. These are erroneous claims that the CPIM and the BJP are on beneficial terms over important matters.
"The action against NewsClick is part of the crackdown on fake news. It is not against the freedom of media. This is an action against those who are trying to implement China's interest against the country. Illegal activities will not be allowed in the name of freedom of expression. Media working in India should not work for the interest of foreign countries," he said.
The Union Minister also asserted that it is wrong to interpret the action against NewsClick as against the freedom of media.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on August 22 conducted search operations in accordance with PMLA 2022 to investigate benamis and beneficiaris who swindled more than Rs 150 crore in bank funds from Karuvannur Service Cooperative Bank Ltd. The searches and raids were conducted at 5 locations in Kerala. The Kerala Police filed FIRs saying that the accused were embezzling public funds and that more than one loan had been granted to the same person against the bank loan cap while being secured by the same asset. Based on these FIRs, the ED initiated an investigation.
Prabir Purkayastha, the founder and editor-in-chief of NewsClick, and another individual associated with the online portal have been remanded to seven-day police custody. This development comes a day after their arrest in a case reportedly connected to alleged Chinese funding. On Tuesday (Oct 3), the Delhi Police conducted extensive raids on a wide range of individuals connected to NewsClick, including journalists, freelancers, writers, and satirists. The English news website has been under scrutiny following allegations of receiving foreign funding.