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Coal theft case: CBI interrogates Abhishek Banerjee’s wife; Mamata meets family

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Kolkata: A Central Bureau of Investigation team on Tuesday visited the residence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and Trinamool Congress MP, Abhishek Banerjee, to examine his wife Rujira Banerjee in the alleged coal pilferage case. The team had on Monday also questioned Abhishek Banerjee’s sister-in-law Menaka Gambhir after allegations were levelled that the leaders of ruling Trinamool Congress were paid regular kickbacks from coal mafia.

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Ahead of CBI examination of Rujira, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited her nephew’s residence to the family.

Meanwhile, CBI summon notice to his wife Rujira was publicly shared by Abhishek Banerjee on Sunday alleging that she would be grilled in connection with a cold pilferage case that the central probe agency filed in November last year.

A team of CBI officials, including two women officers, spent around three hours at Gambhir’s house situated in the Kolkata suburbs. As per reports, she was questioned about some bank accounts and related transactions, however, CBI hasn’t confirmed anything yet.

To note, the case was filed to investigate the alleged illegal mining and theft of coal from Kunustoria and Kajoria coal fields of Eastern Coalfield Limited. According to agency insiders, there has been some transfer of money from accounts linked to to the coal theft case to the bank accounts of these two persons.

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The money was reportedly channelled through Vinay Mishra, who is the general secretary of the Trinamool’s youth wing that’s headed by Abhishek. On December 31, last year, the CBI had raided the home of Vinay Mishra, who is now on the run. The agency has issued a non-bailable warrant against the absconding accused.

The Trinamool is, however, apprehensive of the CBI probe as ‘police pressure tactics’ ahead of the West Bengal polls by BJP, alleging “the CBI is its (the BJP’s) only ally now”. A party leader on the condition of anonymity, said, “Such things will be dealt legally. Even in the past we have won facing all this. Our party cannot be threatened using the Enforcement Directorate and CBI. With such actions, people are losing faith in the investigating agencies, that’s all.”

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