Kolkata: West Bengal turned into a ‘war-zone’ on Sunday as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sat on ‘Save The Democracy’ dharna in front of Metro Cinema in Kolkata after a team of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sleuths reached city police commissioner Rajeev Kumar’s residence to question him in connection with Rose Valley and Saradha ponzi scam cases. The probe agency, meanwhile, will approach the Supreme Court on Monday after five of its officials were detained.
Attacking the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre, Banerjee said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying to destroy Bengal. She said, “BJP is torturing Bengal. They are forcibly trying to destroy Bengal just because I did brigade rally. Yesterday you saw the language of PM where he threatened.” (Have Evidence Against Kolkata Police Commissioner, Says Interim CBI Chief)
Standing in support of Kolkata police chief, she said that he is the best in the world. “I will stand with my force. I respect them. I felt very sad today. This is the destruction of the federal structure,” the Chief Minister said.
Banerjee alleged they want to impose President’s rule in whatever states the opposition is in power. “I can assure….I am ready to die but I am not ready to bow down before the Modi government and we won’t allow imposition of Emergency…Please save India, save democracy, save the Constitution,” she said while asking all Opposition parties to unite and bring down the Modi government.
Meanwhile, Opposition leaders including Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former J&K CM Omar Abdullah, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, among others spoke to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief and expressed solidarity.
Thanking every one who came out in her support, the official Twitter handle of TMC quoted her as saying, “Organise rallies tomorrow between 2-4 PM in every block of the State. Wear black badges and carry black flags to register your protest. We are not afraid. If he wants to impose President’s Rule, we will see. We have to ensure Modi is ousted from power in 2019. I thank every one of you who have come here today braving the cold weather. I request all you to please go back to your homes. Organise protest rallies in a peaceful and democratic manner. DO NOT pay heed to provocations.”
Condemning Sunday’s developments in Kolkata, the BJP accused Mamata Banerjee of obstructing the CBI investigation and protecting the corrupt. Speaking to the media, BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya said, “Democracy has ended in West Bengal. “CBI was investigating on orders of SC but they didn’t allow them. CBI officers were detained, this is the first time something like this has happened since independence, we condemn this.”
BJP leader GVL Narasimha Rao called the incident unfortunate and said, “Mamata Banerjee wants to protect the corrupt in her state, like a dictator. She is obstructing investigation of CBI which was there as per SC order. She is shredding apart the constitution. We condemn this.”
“CBI is working as per directions of SC, no state government has the power to obstruct or detain them. It’s unconstitutional and undemocratic…We hope SC gives a direction to WB govt, keeping this incident in view otherwise no agency will be able to work in this country,” he added.
The row erupted on Friday after the CBI claimed that Rajeev Kumar, a 1989-batch IPS officer of West Bengal cadre had been ‘absconding’ and ‘being looked for’ in connection with Saradha and Rose Valley ponzi scam cases. However, the Kolkata police has dismissed the same. “Please take note that not only is the CP Kolkata available in the city, but has also been attending office on a regular basis, with the exception of January 31, 2019, when he was on leave for a day. All concerned may please take note that if any news is spread without proper verification, Kolkata Police will initiate strict legal action against defamation of both the CP Kolkata and Kolkata Police,” the police said.