New Delhi: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday hit back at Kolkata Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and asked her why is she opposing the CBI inquiry in chit fund scams. His reaction comes amidst ongoing standoff between Kolkata state government and CBI team seeking to quiz Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar. (Catch LIVE Update of Crisis Here)
Talking to news agency ANI, Pradhan said, “It was after the Supreme Court’s direction in 2013 that an inquiry began, if Mamata Ji is so fearless, why she is opposing it? What is she so scared of? Only those who steal are afraid.”
Earlier in the day, the CBI had approached the Supreme Court in the matter. Hearing the plea, the Supreme Court bench said that it would hear the matter on Tuesday. The CBI submitted plea seeking directions to Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to cooperate with the investigation in Saradha chit fund case. (ALSO READ: Why is Mamata Banerjee Staging Dharna, Who Does She Want to Shield, Asks BJP)
In its plea, the agency said that Kumar had been summoned multiple times but failed to cooperate and created hurdles in the investigation. Representing the agency, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted before the apex court that ‘our team was arrested and kept in alleged custody. Kolkata Police Commissioner should immediately surrender.”
Refusing the hear the matter urgently, the apex court said, “If Kolkata Police Commissioner even remotely thinks of destroying evidence, bring the material before this court. We will come down so heavily on him that he will regret.”
It is to be noted here that a huge drama was witnessed on Sunday evening at Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar’s residence. CBI officers, who came to question Kumar, were stopped by Kolkata police personnel. Five probe agency officers including Bardhan to the Shakespeare Sarani police station were forcibly detained.
Later, Mamata Banerjee, who had extended support to Kumar on Sunday, also rushed to his (Kolkata police chief) house and was closeted with other top officers, including state police Director General Virendra.
After coming out of Kumar’s residence, she alleged that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval was giving instructions to the CBI at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah. “I am sorry to say National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is giving instructions to the agency. He is implementing what PM Narendra Modi is asking for. He should tell the people that it is not correct,” an agitated Banerjee had said.
Kumar had investigated the Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund scams in which several members of Mamata Banerjee’s party Trinamool Congress Party were charged or arrested.