Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Thursday forwarded a letter written by the Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The letter raises huge concerns over the fire that broke out in a crucial department at the State Secretariat.
Khan has sought appropriate action on the letter. It was on Tuesday night after the fire that broke out at the general administration department (GAD) at the Secretariat that Chennithala inspected the spot.
Later along with a group of legislators, he met Khan and expressed grave concerns over the incident terming it a conspiracy to destroy crucial files and documents pertaining to the various travel itineraries made abroad by Vijayan, his ousted principal secretary M. Sivasankar and Swapna Suresh held in the gold smuggling case.
Chennithala sought the intervention of the Kerala Governor in the matter. Meanwhile, on Thursday, top leaders of the Congress and the BJP continued to target Chief Minister Vijayan for his alleged cover up attempts by destroying evidence.
“There is no doubt that the fire was part of a larger conspiracy to destroy evidence. Some of the files that were burnt have no back-up files and in the course of the fire, some crucial documents were also removed under the pretext of the fire. The present Chief Secretary-led probe would be of no use and only an NIA probe would suffice,” reiterated Chennithala.
State Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said it’s a shame that the Congress and BJP are spreading canards.
“The cause of the fire is short circuit and there is no conspiracy in it. Fires in the Secretariat have taken place many times before also. It’s unfortunate that the Congress and BJP are spreading canards for obvious political reasons,” said Surendran.
Meanwhile, State BJP president K. Surendran, who was one of the first persons to arrive at the Secretariat after the fire broke out told the media on Thursday that there is no doubt that the fire was started deliberately.
“Vijayan wants to hide everything and will go to any extent to see that it happens. By now 4 state ministers have already stated what the cause of the fire is, while the official probe team is yet to come out with their findings. The only agenda of the Chief Secretary-led probe is a cover-up,” said Surendran.
Meanwhile, the national leadership of the CPI-M has termed the fire a conspiracy and has sought a detailed probe into it. Already the State Police has registered a criminal case against K Surendran for trespassing into the Secretariat.
The local police has registered a case and the FIR mentions that a few files pertaining to bookings made at various state-run guest houses have been damaged. The cause of the fire has been attributed to a plastic portion of a fan getting burnt due to overheating and falling onto a curtain.