A recent police raid and detention of a GST inspector in connection with the ongoing investigation into a gold smuggling racket involving a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) assistant commandant at Calicut International Airport has led to a standoff between the police and the Central GST and Central Excise and Customs Commissionerate.
The early morning police raid at the quarters of GST inspector Sandeep Nain at Kozhikode on Thursday and his detention without following legal procedures angered the Central GST authorities, who took up the matter with the State’s top police brass.
The police team investigating the gold smuggling racket under District Police Chief Sujith Das S. had to beat a hasty retreat when they realised about their procedural lapses. In a complaint to Kozhikode City Police Commissioner, Mr. Nain’s wife Renu accused the police team from Kondotty of “gross misbehaviour and harassment”.
The police team seized his mobile phone, took away his car from his quarters as they took him forcibly to Kondotty on Thursday morning — and all this without a warrant and giving any seizure memo. The police behaviour apparently rattled GST Commissioner Manish Chandra, who immediately took it up with the State authorities.
The police had to hospitalise Mr. Nain after he swooned in their custody. His blood pressure had shot up considerably. On Saturday and Sunday, he looked traumatised and shattered. His family was in tears. Alleging torture during the “illegal police detention”, his wife said he had no history of blood pressure issues and fainting.
Mr. Nain, who had worked at Calicut International Airport a couple of months ago and had gone on paternity leave before rejoining at the Central GST Commissionerate a few days ago, is learned to have sought legal remedies against the police. Mr. Sujith Das, however, refused to attend the calls from The Hindu.
The police reportedly targetted Mr. Nain as he is a friend of Naveen, the CISF assistant commissioner booked under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act 2018 for his alleged involvement in a gold smuggling racket. Both of them are from Haryana.
Police sources, admitting some lapses because of their overzealousness, said that they were trying to make a foolproof case to pin those involved in the gold smuggling racket. The police said that gold had been smuggled in as many as 60 times with the help of some officers at the airport, including Mr. Naveen.