Cong observes black day in Kerala, holds protest against Sudhakaran’s arrest

The party workers held protest marches in various towns across Kerala in which hundreds participated.

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress in Kerala on Saturday observed black day and conducted protest across the State against the arrest of KPCC chief K Sudhakaran in a cheating case.

The Kannur strongman of the party was arrested by the Crime Branch wing of Kerala Police on Friday in a cheating case in which the prime accused is controversial antique dealer Monson Mavunkal.

The party workers held protest marches in various towns across Kerala in which hundreds participated.

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The protests were mainly held in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Kasaragod and Pathanamthitta districts.

Mahila Congress marched towards the state secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram, while hundreds of party workers took part in the march held in Kochi.

On Friday, the party had announced June 24 as a black day in protest against Sudhakaran’s arrest by the Crime Branch after seven hours of interrogation. He was later released on bail.

“I have faith in the judiciary. I will face the case in court,” Sudhakaran had told the reporters after coming out on bail.

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday, while asking Sudhakaran to appear before the Crime Branch on June 23, had said that in the event he is arrested in the cheating case, he shall be released on bail on furnishing a bond of Rs 50,000 with two sureties of the like amount.

The order came on the anticipatory bail plea filed by Sudhakaran who was asked to appear before the Crime Branch, which is probing the cheating case.

The Crime Branch had decided to interrogate the KPCC president on the basis of a statement by complainants, who lost their money in the cheating case, claiming they had handed over money to Mavunkal in the presence of Sudhakaran.

When the allegations cropped up against him two years ago, Sudhakaran denied them.

The issue had snowballed into a political controversy as images of Mavunkal along with Sudhakaran emerged.

Sudhakaran had said he had gone to Mavunkal’s residence for treatment as the latter claimed to be a trained cosmetologist.

Mavunkal had allegedly made false representations about himself and his business to various people and collected money from them. Many images of Mavunkal with senior police officers and bureaucrats of the state have surfaced.

Cherthala native Mavunkal, who claims to be in possession of rare and historic antiques, was arrested by the Crime Branch in September 2021. He is facing charges of having swindled Rs 10 crore from several people.

Mavunkal was recently sentenced to multiple life imprisonments in a rape case of a minor girl.

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