In what appears to be a desperate, last-ditch attempt to stall the CBI from questioning and possibly arresting the Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar in connection with chit fund scam cases, the Kolkata Police bundled CBI investigative officers in to police jeeps, whisked them to a police station and detained.
A team of 40-odd CBI officers arrived at Kumar's residence this evening, but they were stopped by sentries and officials. In a retaliatory move, a team of Kolkata Police officials reached the CGO Complex -- the state headquarters of CBI.
The dramatic showdown between the state police and the CBI.comes in wake of the tension between West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Centre.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that some CBI officers were arrested.
While the CBI sources said that some of its men were forcibly taken away from Kumar's Loudon Street residence and arrested, a senior police officer denied any arrests and said they have been taken to the police station to check if they had done required documents to question Kumar.
The CBI is probing role Kumar’s role in diluting the SIT probe in multi-crore Saradha and Rose Valley Ponzi scams. He has been accused of tampering with evidence to save several influential people in the state.
A CBI source on Saturday(Feb 2) also indicated that Kumar, a 1989 batch IPS officer, who enjoys close proximity to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, faces an imminent arrest arrested in the case.
The CBI want to question the IPS officer, who was appointed in 2013 to head a Special Investigation team of West Bengal Police to probe the series of chit fund scams that rocked the state, for his alleged role in destroying the documents and files related to the probe that has gone missing. But according to CBI officials, Kumar has been absconding for the last three days and that he has not deposed before the agency officials.
The police commissioner also skipped attending the election commission (EC) meetings in the state for past few days following which Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora had sought an explanation from the state government over his.absence. However statement was issued Sunday from Kolkata Police, dismissing reports of him being missing from work.
As the confrontation between the CBI and Kolkata spilled out to the streets, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee rushed to the spot. She had earlier extended her support to Kumar and claimed that the BJP was "misusing power to take control of the police and all other institutions". West Bengal DGP Virendra and ADG (Law and order) Anuj Sharma too reached Kumar's residence.
Launching a blistering attack on the Centre, the Chief Minister accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah of attempting to engineer a ‘coup’ in the state. She also alleged that National Security Adviser Ajit Doval was plotting the moves of CBI to harass political opponents, as per orders of the prime minister.
She announced that she will be sitting on 'dharna' tonight to protect the Constitution and protest against the incident
“I feel ashamed to talk to such a prime minister who has blood on his hands,” she said.
“Our government arrested chit fund owners when we came to power. It is we who formed an SIT to probe the matter,” she said in a hurriedly-called press conference outside Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar’s residence.
In what appeared to be a retaliatory move, a team of Kolkata Police officials reached the CGO Complex -- the state headquarters of CBI.