A CBI team on Sunday reached TMC leader and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee’s house in Kolkata in connection with an alleged coal smuggling case. Abhishek’s wife has been asked to join the probe.The team is likely to question her in connection with the case at her residence, sources said.
This is for the first time that the CBI has summoned Abhishek Banerjee’s wife in the coal smuggling case in which the probe agency conducted multiple raids at several locations across the state last week.The CBI on Friday conducted searches at 13 locations in four districts Purulia, Bankura, Paschim Bardhaman and Kolkata in connection with the case.
Abhishek took to Twitter Sunday afternoon and posted the CBI notice and write,”At 2pm today, the CBI served a notice in the name of my wife. We have to faith in the law of the land.However, if they think they use these ploys to intimidate us, they are mistaken. we are not ones who would ever be cowed down.
According to the CBI sources, the team of officials from the probe agency reached Banerjee’s Kalighat residence but couldn’t find anyone there. They left after 15 minutes, serving a notice to Rujira Bandopadhyay to question her under Section 160 of CrPC (require attendance of witnesses, from the Code of Criminal Procedure). “Yes, she has been summoned in an ongoing probe,” said an official. Since, Rujira was not present during CBI visit, the team has shared their number asking Rujira to get in touch with them by today. The CBI said they want to quiz her over some of her bank transactions.
Following the visit, security has been tightened outside Abhishek Banerjee’s residence. “It is a conspiracy. Without any evidence, Amit Shah had defamed Abhishek Banerjee. The matter is in court, which has summoned the Home Minister or his representative to appear before the special judge tomorrow. A day before that, such an action by the CBI is a conspiracy against Abhishek Banerjee and it is politically motivated,” said TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh.
Senior TMC leader and MP Sought Roy said the action was “predictable”. “It was so predictable. All the allies have left them (BJP). So the only loyal allies are CBI and ED. We will fight it out. We are not scared. We believe people will give a befitting reply during voting,” Roy said.
CPI(M) Leader Sujan Chakraborty has also questioned the timing of the CBI’s action. “This could have be done two years ago. Why before the polls now? Bengal people want a free and fair election. But, now since Delhi wants, they are serving the notice,” said Chakraborty.
Meanwhile, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of Congress which has allied with the CPI(M) for the state assembly polls, said, “We wanted such Investigation by CBI, truth should come out. Whoever is being summoned should cooperate with CBI.”
The CBI had registered an FIR in November last year against Anup Manjhi alias Lala, Eastern Coalfield Ltd General Managers Amit Kumar Dhar (of then Kunustoria area now Pandaveswar area) and Jayesh Chandra Rai (Kajor area) besides ECL Chief of Security Tanmay Das, Area Security Inspector, Kunustoria Dhananjay Rai and SSI and security in-charge Kajor area Debashish Mukherjee.
It is alleged that Manjhi is involved in illegal mining and theft of coal from leasehold mines of ECL in Kunustoria and Kajora areas.
TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee is one of the most discussed politicians considering the upcoming Bengal assembly elections. BJP has been alleging Mamata Banerjee of dynasty politics and has been claiming that didi is pitching her nephew Abhishek Banerjee as the next West Bengal Chief Minister.
Mamata Banerjee has also been slamming the Bharatiya Janata Party and few days earlier, she challenged Home Minister Amit Shah to contest against Abhishek Banerjee first, and then he will have a contest with her.
Addressing a party rally in Pailan in the South 24 Parganas district, TMC chief Banerjee said (her nephew) Abhishek could have taken the “easy route of being an MP by choosing to be a Rajya Sabha member but he fought the Lok Sabha election and got the people’s mandate”.
“Day and night, they are talking about Didi-Bhatija. I challenge Amit Shah, contest against Abhishek Banerjee first and then me,” she said.