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Blocking in offing since long, how Mamata gave CBI hell since 2015


New Delhi, Feb 05: The unprecedented incident in which CBI officers being detained by the Kolkata police, while trying to probe the chit fund cases is the talking point in the country today.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee chairs a cabinet meeting at the protest site during a sit-in over the CBIs attempt to question the Kolkata Police commissioner in connection with chit fund scams, in Kolkata

West Bengal Chief Minister is on a protest since the past two days and it is being made to look as though the action by the CBI is fresh in nature. It is a well known fact that the CBI began the probe into the chit fund cases running into Rs 17,460 crore following a Supreme Court verdict.

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The CBI was looking to question, Kolkata Police commissioner, Rajeev Kumar, who had initially headed an SIT to probe into these cases. The CBI alleges that he has either hidden or destroyed the evidence and hence they need to question him.

CBI sources tell OneIndia that it has been a problematic case for them to probe due to non-cooperation. It is not as though our officers decided to land up one fine day to probe Kumar. We have sent ample reminders and notices over the past three years, but none of them were answered.

The first notice to Kumar was sent in 2017 to join the probe. The notice was sent after the CBI questioned two inspectors. However Kumar refused to join the probe citing prior engagements. The same year, he was sent another notice, but he said that it would not be right to issue one under Section 160 of the CRPC and a questionnaire should be sent instead. Last year, the CBI issued the third notice to him, but his response remained the same.

Blocking in the offing since 2015:

The probes into both the Rose Valley and Saradha scams have been uncomfortable subjects for the TMC government in Bengal. Although the Supreme Court ordered the CBI probe, the Mamata Banerjee led government has always felt that it was a witch-hunt.

It may be recalled that the Bengal government had decided to move the Supreme Court in 2015 alleging a witch-hunt by the CBI. A large part of the bureaucracy was unhappy with the decision of the government and felt that such a petition is political in nature.

Many bureaucrats had advised that the plea that sought a monitoring of the CBI probe by the Supreme Court would be rejected. Further it was said that the petition may not be taken in good light as it was coming at a time, when the CBI was seeking the transfer of the trial in the Saradha cases out of Bengal.

CBI officials tell OneIndia that there was always a problem with this case. In 2014, the CBI had contemplated getting the trial into these cases transferred out of West Bengal. One such incident which promoted the CBI to take such a decision was when TMC workers laid siege at its office in Salt Lake.

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The TMC protested the arrest of Madan Mitra and Mamata had declared that there would be protest rallies. The TMC members came out in large numbers and blocked traffic movement in many parts of Kolkata.

The CBI has always complained about the lack of cooperation. Just six vehicles and no manpower had been provided by the state, despite several requests by the CBI. The Enforcement Directorate and the Finance Ministry had written several letters to the Bengal government seeking more manpower, but none of the requests were heeded to.

The CBI also has on several occasions complained about the VVIP treatment being accorded to TMC leaders arrested in connection with this case. For instance after Madan Mitra was discharged from the state run SSKM hospital, he was immediately moved to the jail hospital. This was done despite him being declared fit, officials said.

The authorities also accorded a similar treatment to former DGP Rajat Majumdar and Srinjoy Bose, a TMC leader. Many questioned the logic behind keeping these men in hospitals despite them being fit.

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