Saradha Scam: Home Secy Anil Goswami sacked as more twists expected

The Saradha case has had its twists and turns and now with the sacking of Anil Goswami as the Home Secretary of India another turn to the case has emerged.

The Saradha scam has had its share of victims and most of them have been extremely high profile personalities ranging from bureaucrats to politicians.

Saradha: Home secy sacked

Goswami was asked by the Prime Minister's Office a while ago to tender his resignation after it was found that he had allegedly tried to prevent the arrest of Matang Sinh, former union minister from the Congress in connection with the Sarada scam.

Was the call made at the behest of Sinh:

When Sinh was questioned for over a five hours in connection with the Saradha scam, he had thrown in a lot of names of politicians and bureaucrats.

The CBI feels that before he had come to their office in Kolkata, he may have been in touch with senior officials and asked them to put in a word to prevent his arrest.

However it is unclear whether he spoke with Goswami directly. Goswami when summoned by the PMO was asked about the allegations made by the CBI. He is said to have made a call on behalf of Sinh asking the CBI not to arrest him.

Prior to the PMO summoning him, Home Minister Rajnath Singh too had a word with the former Home Secretary. After Goswami admitted to have making the call he put in his papers

Another officer gone just before retirement:

Goswami is now the third officer who has been sent out prior to his retirement. He was to retire in the month of July.

Last week Sujatha Singh was removed from the post of Foreign Secretary and replaced by S Jaishankar. Sujatha had seven months left for her retirement.

Prior to Sujatha Singh, missile scientist Avinash Chander was removed as chief of India's Defence Research and Development Organization.

Sinh's investigation will reveal more names:

Sinh is a high profile accused in the Saradha case. The CBI says that high profile personalities in the case have not just entered into deals with Saradha but also created loop holes in the system to ensure that the scam went on unabated.

We will continue to question Sinh and he has already taken the names of several politicians and bureaucrats in connection with the case.

Sinh has been tough to probe:

CBI officials say that they have had a hard time while probing Sinh. He never expected that he would be arrested in the first place. He came on his own for the questioning when we called him. However, when he realized that he was about to be arrested, he tries to get away.

He tried to force his way out of the CBI office, but our officers had to stop him and arrest him. He even complained of ill health and said that he wanted to be hospitalized.

The Saradha chief, Sudipta Sen in a detailed letter to the CBI had alleged that he had paid Sinh an amount of Rs 28 crore to acquire a Bengali television channel called NE Bangla. Sen had alleged that the deal was not conclusive, but Sinh never returned the money.

Government will not interfere:

The central government has given the CBI a free hand to investigate the Saradha case. The message to the CBI has been clear and that is to complete the investigation as early as possible and bring out the truth.

Moreover, the probe is directly under the eye of the Supreme Court which had in the first place ordered a CBI probe into the case.

The CBI has often complained about interference by the West Bengal government and TMC leaders. The CBI had even told the Supreme Court about the threat and interference its officers face while probing the case in West Bengal.

They had quoted the Madan Mitra incident where his supporters had threatened the CBI officers. While Mitra was being produced before the court, thousands of his supporters had made it very difficult for the CBI.

The CBI had even sought that the trial of the case be moved out of West Bengal. It feels that it would be very difficult to produce the high profile leaders of the TMC before the court and if the ends of justice are to be met then the case must be moved out of the state.

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