Special Police team to probe Saseendran scandal

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Special Police team to probe Saseendran scandal

Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 30 (PTI) The Kerala government today ordered a probe by a special investigation team into the alleged sleaze talk incident involving former Transport Minister A K Saseendran.

According to sources in the Chief Minister’s Office, the team would be headed by Inspector General of Police Dhirendra Kashyap.

The team was constituted by DGP Loknath Behra, the sources said.

The government has already ordered a judicial probe headed by former district judge P S Antony and the police investigation would run parallel to it, they said.

The government has asked the judicial commission to submit its report in three months.

Earlier, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had forwarded a complaint lodged by women journalists affiliated to ‘Network of Women in Media, India’ which said that they were facing “disgraceful” situation following allegations that one of them had a role to play in the incident.

A comprehensive probe into the issue was needed to bring out the truth behind the whole matter, the complaint signed by Geeta Nazeer and Jisha Surya for the outfit said.

The complaint was in the wake of allegations that it was a “honey trap”.

Meanwhile, the private channel that aired the audio clip purportedly containing Saseendran’s conversation tendered an unconditional apology. It also admitted that it was a sting operation carried out by its editorial team.

It said the woman was not a housewife as claimed by the channel at the time of telecasting the conversation.

In a related development, the police registered two FIRs on two different complaints on the same matter.

Meanwhile, Kerala Union of Working Journalists demanded a detailed police investigation along with a judicial probe to clear the “mystery” of the whole matter.

KUWJ General secretary C Narayanan, in a statement, said even isolated incidents of insulting and doubting women journalists were very unfortunate.

Saseendran, an NCP nominee in the LDF ministry, resigned on March 26 after a private television channel aired an audio clipping, purportedly of him having a telephonic conversation with a woman to whom he was speaking in sexual overtones.

The channel had claimed that the woman was a housewife who had called the minister for redressal of some of her grievances.

Meanwhile, Saseendran, who reached his home district Kozhikode, said, “People of the state are convinced about what had happened” but did not elaborate.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.