New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation will move the Supreme Court on Monday after a face-off with Kolkata Police officials on Sunday, ANIreported. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee continued her sit-in protest to “save the Constitution” on Kolkata’s Esplanade.
The agency’s interim boss, M Nageswara Rao, said that the West Bengal police aren’t cooperating, therefore, “we will approach the Supreme Court on Monday”.
“Did we commit any crime?” Rao said.
The high-profile agency will inform the Supreme Court about the non-cooperation of the Bengal government and its police, sources said. The CBI has accused the West Bengal government of impeding investigation of a Supreme Court-ordered probe into two Ponzi schemes and is expected to demand action against the state government and its police.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is sitting on dharna following a fierce attack on the centre, accusing it of orchestrating a CBI team’s visit to the Kolkata top cop’s home. The Kolkata police refused to let the CBI officers enter and temporarily detained them at a police station.
“The CBI will tell the top court that detention and harassment of its officers carrying out the probe is indicative of the state government’s scant regard to the rule of law,” sources said.
The stand-off began after a CBI team reached the home of “missing” Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar on Sunday evening to question him in connection with two Ponzi scams. Police officials detained five members of the team for around two hours, and central forces reached the state CBI headquarters in Kolkata. Banerjee called the CBI action a “coup” by the Centre and began her protest at 9 pm.
Hours before, Banerjee had extended support to Kumar and called him “one of the best in the world”.
Here are the major higlights:
- Daring the BJP to impose President’s Rule in West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee called it a “total constitutional breakdown”. “How dare you come to a police commissioner’s home without a warrant? (Ajit) Doval is doing whatever PM wants him to do, he is the one giving all the instructions to CBI,” Banerjee said, referring to the National Security Advisor.
- “This is a Satyagraha and I’ll continue till the country is saved,” Banerjee said. She spent the night at the designated spot for protests in central Kolkata, accompanied by city police chief Rajeev Kumar. Banerjee skipped meals and remained awake the entire night as she sat on the makeshift dais. She will proceed to the assembly later this morning for the state budget. “We have full confidence in the judiciary, media and the people… If they want to impose President’s Rule, we are ready for it,” she said.
- The CBI is expected to go to the Supreme Court today, accusing the West Bengal government of impeding a court-ordered probe into the chit fund scams, said the agency’s interim boss, M Nageswara Rao. The state government is also likely to appeal to the top court about the issue. The CBI officials are planning to meet West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi.
- Rajeev Kumar – who headed a Special Investigation Team probing the Saradha and Rose Valley Ponzi scam of 2013 – was asked to help the investigation after several documents allegedly went missing. He has received several summons for questioning. This time, a section of media reported that he could be arrested for evading questioning and was “absconding”. The Kolkata Police said they would take action for the defamatory reports.
- Senior Trinamool leader Derek O’Brien said on Sunday evening, 40 CBI officers turned up at the Park Street House of Rajeev Kumar. But they were refused entry by the police guards posted there and the team was taken to a local police station. Banerjee and top police officers held an emergency meeting at Kumar’s house.
- Accusing the BJP of engineering the crisis, Banerjee said the trouble flared up after her mega rally of 23 opposition parties in Kolkata last month. “The Kolkata Police Commissioner is among the best in the world. His integrity, bravery and honesty are unquestioned. He is working 24×7, and was on leave for only one day recently. When you spread lies, the lies will always remain lies,” she tweeted.
- The chief minister also accused PM Modi of using unparliamentary language during his recent rallies in the state. The Prime Minister had claimed the West Bengal government was killing the aspirations of the middle class through “Triple T – Trinamool Tolabazi Tax”. ‘Tolabazi” roughly translates to an act of organised extortion.
- The state’s BJP lawmaker Babul Supriyo tweeted: “President’s Rule should be imposed on West Bengal to control this ‘Rogue’ #TMchhi Govt under a corrupt CM Mamata Banerjee. This is a constitutional crisis ‘created’ by Mamta to shield her corrupt & tainted accomplices (sic)”.
- The opposition has rallied around Banerjee, with various leaders — including Arvind Kejriwal, Tejashwi Yadav, Lalu Yadav and HD Deve Gowda tweeting their outrage. Kejriwal, Omar Abdullah and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi called up Mamata Banerjee and offered her full support. Several opposition leaders are likely to visit her today.
- “Spoke with Mamata Di tonight and told her we stand shoulder to shoulder with her. The happenings in Bengal are a part of the unrelenting attack on India’s institutions by Modi & the BJP. The entire opposition will stand together & defeat these fascist forces,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted.