Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is on a dharna since Sunday night over the CBI’s attempt to question the Kolkata Police commissioner in connection with chit fund scams, on Monday felicitated state police officials.
On a stage adjacent to where she has been staging dharna, Banerjee handed over the awards to officials of the Kolkata Police and West Bengal Police.
Interestingly, Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, who is under CBI scanner for his alleged involvement in Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund scams, was also present at the event.
Following the event, Banerjee said, “A policeman who has worked for his entire life, if he is not given respect, we will not accept it.”
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“I am ready to give my life but I will not compromise. I did not take to the streets when you touched Trinamool leaders. But I got angry when they tried to insult the chair of the Kolkata Police Commissioner,” she added.
The failed attempt by the CBI to question Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with the Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund scams on Sunday became the latest flashpoint between the BJP-led Centre and Banerjee, one of its bitter critics. The CBI has accused Kumar of destroying evidence related to the two fraud cases.
A CBI team was bodily prevented from entering the residence of Kumar by Kolkata police personnel, bundled into vehicles, and detained. Contingents of West Bengal police also descended on CBI premises in the city, as a furious Banerjee rushed to Kumar’s residence before beginning a dharna opposite Metro Cinema, one of Kolkata’s landmarks.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi and several opposition leaders including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, DMK leader MK Stalin and others extended their support to Banerjee.
However, the BJP maintained that it was Congress that had filed a petition in the Supreme Court asking for an investigation into the chit fund scams. “We took oath on May 26,2014 so all these inquiries in Narada, Saradha scams started before us,” Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.