New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday slammed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over her sit-in over the CBI’s attempt to question Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with multi-crore chit fund scams, saying that she is following the footsteps of her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal.
“What is happening? A Police Commissioner is sitting on a dharna with politicians? What is the meaning of this? By sitting on dharna West Bengal CM is following the footsteps of Arvind Kejriwal,” said Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
In an unprecedented development, a number of CBI officers, who had gone to question Rajeev Kumar in connection with chit fund scam cases, were bundled into police jeeps, whisked to a police station and briefly detained on Sunday.
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Hours after the incident, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee began a sit-in right in front of the Metro Cinema to protest “insults” she faced at the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah and claimed the CBI knocked on the doors of Kumar without a search warrant.
Rajeev Kumar had headed a special probe into the Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund scams in which thousands of small investors were cheated of their money.
The CBI has alleged that he had ignored multiple summons over the past two years and that the agency wanted to ask him about missing evidence.
Prasad further slammed the opposition parties extending their support to Banerjee’s sit-in.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Andhra Pradesh counterpart Chandrababu Naidu, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath, DMK president MK Stalin and former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti were among those who called up to express solidarity to her protest.
“Is it a crime to investigate scams? The fundamental question today is that this is not a gathbandhan, we call it an opportunistic alliance,” said Prasad.
Refuting the allegation that the Centre was misusing the machinery for political gains, Prasad said: “In 2014 Congress tweeted Rahul Gandhi’s statement that 20 lakh people lost their money in chit fund scam in West Bengal. We took oath on 26 May 2014 so all these inquiries in Narada, Saradha scams started before us.”
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court agreed to give an urgent hearing to CBI’s plea alleging destruction of electronic evidence related to the Saradha chit fund scam case by the Kolkata Police commissioner and said it will come down heavily on him if he “even remotely” tries to destroy the evidence.
The apex court said it will hear on Tuesday probe agency’s applications which alleged that an extraordinary situation has arisen in which the top police officials of the West Bengal Police are sitting on a dharna along with a political party in Kolkata.
The applications accusing Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar of destroying evidence related to the case and indulging in contempt of court were mentioned by Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta before a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjeev Khanna.