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Saradha scam: CBI to question Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar on February 9 in Shillong

The agency has also called former Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh to Shillong on February 10.  

PTI PTI
New Delhi Published on: February 07, 2019 22:20 IST
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Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will question Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar on February 9 in Shillong in connection with Saradha scam, officials said on Thursday, in the backdrop of Sunday's dramatic raid on Kumar's residence by the agency that triggered a slugfest between the Centre and the state government.

The agency has also called former Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh to Shillong on February 10.

The CBI wants to question Kumar, a 1989-batch IPS officer, as he was heading the SIT formed by West Bengal government to probe Saradha and other ponzi scheme cases, they said.

The CBI is relying on a 91-page letter from Ghosh, who was expelled by TMC, to the Enforcement Directorate, detailing the role of Kumar in handling the ponzi scam probe after the main accused Sudipta Sen and Debjani Mukherjee, both promoters of Saradha group of companies, had fled to Kashmir, officials said in Kolkata.

Sen and Mukherjee were arrested in 2013 from Kashmir.

"State police was first to enter the premises of Saradha Group post collapse and there are allegations that important documents which could have provided important leads were removed to cause disappearance of evidence," a senior CBI official had said on the condition of anonymity.

The agency may confront Ghosh and Kumar to cross check their claims, CBI sources said.

"I got a telephone from the CBI asking me to be in Shillong on Sunday. I will be there and cooperate in every possible manner," Ghosh told PTI.

Kumar's questioning on February 9 will happen in the shadow of the raid on Sunday evening on his Kolkata residence by CBI officials.

The officials had to beat a hasty retreat from Kumar's residence after its officials were not only prevented by guards from entering the premises but were also detained by Kolkata police.

The incident had triggered an unprecedented tussle between the West Bengal government and the Centre as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sat on a sit-in against the CBI move. On Monday, the agency rushed to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court Tuesday directed Kumar to appear before the CBI and "faithfully" cooperate into the investigation but made it clear clear that he should not be arrested.

The court said "to avoid all unnecessary controversy", it was directing Kumar to appear before the agency at a neutral place in Shillong, Meghalaya.

The CBI has temporarily attached 10 more officers with its Kolkata unit, which is probing the scam, to augment strength during questioning of high-profile persons, including Kumar, officials said.

Officers from Delhi, Bhopal and Lucknow units have been sent to Kolkata and they will remain stationed there till February 20.

A team led by Superintendent of Police Jagroop S Gusinha from CBI's special unit in New Delhi will camp in Kolkata, an official order said.

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