Kolkata: In an unprecedented development, Kolkata Police this evening prevented a CBI team from questioning police commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with the multi-crore chit-fund scams.
Kolkata Police personnel, including those in the rank of joint commissioner, forcibly took away CBI officers from near Kumar’s residence at U N Brahmachari Street off Park Street and made them stay at Shakespeare Sarani police station for over two hours.
The situation has escalated so much that large posse of police personnel encircled CBI’s local offices ~ Nizam Palace in south Kolkata and CGO Complex in Salt Lake ~ and also the residence of the CBI’s joint director in Kolkata, Pankaj Srivastava.
Countering this, CBI has called in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel at all the three locations for the safety and security of its officers and investigation documents.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on the other hand, has sat on an overnight dharna at Metro Channel in Esplanade “to save the Constitution, to save democracy, to save the federal structure from BJP-led Central government.”
She is accompanied by the director general of police Virendra, IGP (law and order) Anuj Sharma, security advisor Surajit Kar Purkayastha, and Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim.
The police commissioner, Rajeev Kumar, whom the CBI could not reach for questioning, has also turned up at the dharna venue. He is seated next to the Chief Minister.
The CM has alleged that CBI went to Kumar’s official residence without any valid paper and legal sanction. She says that this was being done at the behest of BJP as Trinamool is fighting the saffron party’s communal agenda.
CBI joint director Srivastava denied the charges and said that their team had gone to police commissioner’s house “completing all legal requirements.”
“We have been sending notices to these police officials for the last two years but they did not cooperate. Our investigations were being interfered with and our officers were being called to police stations,” he said.
Srivastava, who is in-charge of the chit-fund investigation in Kolkata, said that CBI will move the Supreme Court tomorrow as they “are working as per the writ of the Supreme Court to unearth the larger conspiracy in chit-fund scams.”
CBI interim director, M Nageswara Rao in Delhi has told in a media statement that there is incriminating evidence against Kumar and hence, CBI team went to question him.
“He has been instrumental in causing damage to evidence and preventing the investigation.” Rao’s statement reads.
The Chief Minister has asked Trinamool cadres to hold protest rallies in all over Bengal from 2-4 pm tomorrow without blocking road or railways. She has said that she will continue with the dharna and will hold a Cabinet meeting at the venue ahead of the tabling of the state Budget tomorrow.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and, Congress leader Ahmed Patel, Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, BSP leader Mayawati have called up Banerjee voicing their support.
Banerjee told media that Congress president Rahul Gandhi also called her up expressing solidarity.
Trouble began around 6 this evening after a 40-member CBI team reached the police commissioner’s house allegedly to arrest him as he has been ignoring notice after notice for questioning in the chit-fund scam.
But Kolkata Police cordoned off the commissioner’s house in advance and stopped the CBI from entering the house. CBI officers were then forcibly taken to Shakespeare Sarani police station.
Soon after this, the Chief Minister arrived at the commissioner’s residence with senior police officers and held a meeting.
Emerging out from there she straightway went to Metro Channel and launched her dharna alleging that Modi-government is trying to plot a “coup” against her government.