Saradha case: Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar in Shillong, CBI to question him today

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Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar arrives at the Shillong airport on Friday. He is set to be questioned by the CBI in the Saradha chit fund case on Saturday. (ANI photo)

Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar reached Shillong on Friday, a day before he has to appear before the CBI for questioning in connection with the central agency’s ongoing probe into chit fund cases.

Kumar was accompanied by three top state police officers, including Deputy Commissioner of Special Task Force Murlidhar Sharma. Meanwhile, Trinamool leaders and supporters staged a protest outside the CBI headquarters at CGO Complex, shouting slogans against the Centre.

The developments come days after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee ended her three-day dharna in Kolkata against a recent attempt by CBI officials to raid Kumar’s residence. She ended the protest after the Supreme Court directed Kumar to appear before the CBI in Shillong and ordered that no coercive steps, including his arrest, will take place during the course of the probe.

A ten-member team constituted by the CBI to probe the chit fund scams reached Kolkata the same day. The officials, who are from Lucknow, New Delhi and Bhopal, were briefed about the cases in a detailed discussion with senior CBI officials. The team will be led by Joint Director for Eastern Region Pankaj Srivastava.

The CBI had alleged in its affidavit to the Supreme Court that Kumar “destroyed and tampered” with call data records of a key accused and held back evidence. CBI officials have claimed Kumar has committed offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code. “We have documents on the basis of which he will be questioned,” said an official. Kumar has repeatedly denied the

State Fire Minister and TMC MLA Sujit Bose, led the protest outside CGO Complex, which saw party workers, councillors, officials and supporters gather there. “Everyone knows the motive of CBI behind their over-alertness before elections. BJP is losing its ground everywhere, including in Hindi speaking states. Since they are unable to fight politically, they are getting personal. Our chief minister has always stood like a tigress against wrongdoings. It is so funny to hear that 40 CBI officials went to the Commissioner’s (Kumar’s) residence to hand over a notice… We are protesting and we will continue to do so because we will not let anyone forget how Modi has been harassing everyone for his personal gains,” said Bose.

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