Abu Dhabi, August 22: Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) chief Thushar Vellappally, who challenged former Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad during Lok Sabha polls, was arrested in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a 10-year-old cheque bounce case. Vellappally was taken into custody in Ajman, located close to Dubai, on Wednesday. Efforts to secure his release are currently underway.
Vellappally's arrest was based on a complaint registered by one Nazil Abdullah. The complainant was a subcontractor in Boeing Constructions, the company owned in UAE by the BDJS leader's father Vellappally Natesan. Abdullah was issued a cheque of 10 dirhams, which roughly translate to Rs 19 crore, by Natesan in 2009. The cheque, however, bounced which forced Abdullah to register a case with the Ajman police. Kerala Floods: Rahul Gandhi Visits Wayanad, Meets People at Relief Camp in His Lok Sabha Constituency
In a bid to settle the matter, Vellappally was called in Ajman by Abdullah at a hotel. During the meeting, police officials arrived and took Vellappally into custody. The accused has reportedly been lodged in the Ajman Central Jail.
Influential Kerala-origin businessmen and lawyers in UAE have moved to secure the bail of Vellappally. However, he could not be immediately released as the complainant has refused to withdraw his case despite the assurance of settlement.
Notably, Vellappally had lost in the parliamentary polls from Wayanad. His opponent, Rahul Gandhi, won with a record mandate with a margin of over 4.30 lakh votes against his nearest CPM rival. The NDA candidate's deposit was forfeited as he received only 78,816 votes.