'Absconding' Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar not only dragged his feet on the SIT probe into the plethora of Ponzi scams that unfolded in Bengal under the Mamata Banerjee government, says the CBI, but he also gave a scheduled meeting with the Election Commission to ascertain the state's preparedness for polls a miss; Kolkata Police have denied their chief is missing
Kolkata/New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is going to arrest Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar, sources have claimed. The CBI action is merited by the officer’s alleged slow progress in the SIT probe into the chit fund scams of Bengal.
The agency has already made multiple arrests including those of some close aides of Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
The 1989-batch IPS officer Rajeev Kumar is close to chief minister Banerjee. He allegedly played an important role in garnering investments for chit funds that duped the ordinary citizens of Bengal and adjoining states of crores of rupees.
This would be one of the rare cases in the history of CBI where a senior serving IPS officer is under the scanner and likely to be arrested by India's premier agency.
Kumar was heading a probe related to both the Saradha and Rose Valley Ponzi scams. The CBI is looking for documents related to the probe by him.
"The officer was heading an SIT related to the chit fund scams in the state but the progress has been very slow," sources said
Sources have confirmed that Kumar has been absconding for the last three days. He, the sources said, did not even attend the meetings of the Election Commission. The commission has sought an explanation from Kumar, too, for giving an important meeting a miss. The meeting was called to take note of election preparedness in Bengal.
The CBI recently questioned and then arrested noted Bengali film producer and distributor Shrikant Mohta for his alleged role in the Rose Valley scam. He was interrogated at his office in the city by CBI officials regarding the multi-crore Rose Valley chit fund scam that flourished under the Mamata Banerjee government of Bengal.
Mohta, co-owner of Shree Venkatesh Films (SVF) that has been making a bulk of Bengali films for more than a decade by rehashing Telugu hits, was served a third notice by the investigating agency. The CBI has charged him with "acceptance of money from Rose Valley".
The arrest of Suman Chattopadhyay, senior journalist and editor of Bengali daily Ei Samay, is part of the same saga of chit fund scams in Bengal.
Kolkata Police respond
“We have noticed a news item doing the rounds on various audio-visual, print, and digital media since Saturday, 02.02.19, to the effect that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is 'looking for' Shri Rajeev Kumar, Commissioner of Police, Kolkata, in connection with the Saradha chit fund cases,” Kolkata Police writes in a statement.
“The news item also mentions that Shri Rajeev Kumar has not been attending office for three days. Kolkata Police condemns and denies such baseless news,” the statement reads.
It continues, “Please take note that not only is the CP Kolkata available in the city, but has also been attending office on a regular basis, with the exception of 31.1.19, when he was on leave for a day. All concerned may please take note that if any news is spread without proper verification, Kolkata Police will initiate strict legal action against defamation of both the CP.”
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Last Updated Feb 4, 2019, 12:46 PM IST