Kochi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) issued notice to Church of South India (CSI) Moderator and South Kerala Bishop Dharmaraj Rasalam asking to appear before it on Wednesday for questioning.
This is regarding the alleged money laundering case in connection with church-run Karakonam Medical College.
Earlier, on Monday, the ED conducted a raid at the South Kerala Diocese headquarters here in Kerala’s capital city in connection with the matter.
Meanwhile, CSI bishop Dharmaraj Rasalam was stopped at Thiruvananthapuram airport from flying to the UK on Tuesday. Emigration officials at the airport stopped him en route to the UK as per the directions from the ED.
The ED also raided the headquarters of the CSI South Kerala diocese, which houses the office of Church supreme leader Bishop A Dharmaraj Rasalam.
The raids took place following allegations of corruption at the Church-run medical college at Karakonam. According to the allegations, huge amounts of money were taken on the pretext of offering admission to the medical college.
Simultaneous raids were also carried out at the residences of Church’s secretary T T Praveen and the medical director of CSI Medical College, Karakonam Dr Bennet Abraham. Dr. Bennet Abraham was nominated by the Communist Party of India (CPI) as the LDF candidate for the Indian Parliament elections from the Thiruvananthapuram constituency in 2014.
“They want to do something against the church, they want to destroy the church. So they are filing cases one by one against different bodies. Let them do it we are happy to face it,” Christian Education Board Director Fr. C R Godwin told ANI.
“Today morning at 6.30 they came and started the raid. They did not inform us. Till now the questioning is going on and Bishop has a conference to attend, if they leave we are happy,” he added.
The allegation against the Bishop and the Church pertains to accepting capitation fees for admission to the medical college run by the church.
Earlier, the Bishop was among those booked by the police for allegedly collecting huge amounts of money from students, promising them a medical seat at the Dr Somervell Memorial CSI Medical College in Karakonam, which is run by the church.
The ED registered the case under money laundering offence later. (With inputs from ANI)