Friday, Oct 04, 2002
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By Our Staff Reporter
Shobhana George, MLA, being taken to the Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court in Thiruvananthapuram after her arrest on Thursday. Photo: S. Gopakumar
The much-anticipated arrest finally came at 1.50 p.m. on Thursday. The Crime Branch team arrived in a convoy of vehicles carrying scores of policemen, including women constables. An apparently non-plussed Ms. George was expressing regret for her criticism of the Chief Minister, A.K. Antony, to the media when the police arrived. It was a cheerful Ms. George who walked up to the police team and sought time to change her dress.
Minutes later, the MLA, whose house was besieged by the media, walked into the living room accompanied by her daughter. After comforting her sobbing parents, Ms. George faced the Crime Branch team under the glare of television cameras and flashlights. She was told about the court warrant against her and her suspected involvement in the conspiracy that led to the `forging' of a `confidential intelligence note' that `falsely' implicated the Fisheries and Tourism Minister, K.V. Thomas, in a Rs 336-crore hawala scam. The police also produced a warrant for searching her house. The SP (Crime Branch), Natarajan, questioned her for two minutes in a corner of the porch of her house, before she was whisked away to the CJM's court in a police car. "This is my crucifixion, but there will be a resurrection," Ms. George told mediapersons as she was being taken away.
En route, Ms. George reportedly told her police escorts that she was feeling tired and thirsty. She was given a glass of water in the car. At the court, the MLA showed signs of fatigue and collapsed. The police summoned a doctor who stated that the MLA needed urgent medical attention. An unconscious Ms. George was taken to the General Hospital where she was attended to by a team. Later, the CJM, N.J. Jose, arrived at the hospital and remanded the MLA to judicial custody till October 11.
The MLA was asked by the CJM whether she was assaulted by the police, to which she replied in the negative. In the presence of the Superintendent (Sub-Jail), Ms. George was taken to the Medical College Hospital at 6 p.m. where she was admitted as a remand prisoner in a special cell.
The charges against the MLA include conspiracy and forgery. The Surya TV reporter, Anil Nambiar, who first reported the existence of the controversial document and the Thaniniram reporter, Jayachandran, the personal secretary of Ms. George, Anil P. Srirangam, are the other accused in the case.
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