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West Bengal: Police sends notice to CBI Joint Director to present himself at Bhawanipur police station within a week

Recently the CBI had questioned Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam.

CBI Joint Director Pankat Srivastava has been asked to present himself at the Bhawanipur Police Station by the West Bengal Police in connection with an extortion case.

Srivastava has been asked to join the probe into a case registered under Sections 341 (wrongful restraint) and 342 (wrongful confinement) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC filed against CBI Sub-Inspector Sunil Meena and others at Bhawanipur Police Station on January 21.

One person named Vaibhav Khattar had alleged that the CBI had illegally detained and tortured him in a case which had nothing to do with him. Khattar is an employee of Central Roller Flour Mills Pvt Ltd which was raided by CBI in August, 2018. It was alleged that the raids were carried out due to infighting within CBI between then Director Alok Kumar Verma and then Special Director Rakesh Asthana. The mill’s owner Dipesh Chandak, who had turned approver in the Bihar fodder scam case, was picked up by CBI and he was allegedly coerced into framing Asthana. But he had escaped from custody, after which CBI had furiously picked up the company employees, including Khattar, and allegedly tortured them.

Chandak was later arrested by Kolkata police and is in custody at present. These activities of CBI took place under the leadership of Joint Director Pankat Srivastava, and that’s why he has been named in the case.

This is the latest development in the fight that has broken out between the central investigative agency and the West Bengal government. Recently, the CBI had questioned Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam. TMC MP Kunal Ghosh was also summoned.

Earlier, the state was the scene of massive chaos after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had resorted to ‘dharna’ politics to allegedly save herself from Saradha chit fund scam investigation. Mamata Banerjee had sat on ‘Dharna’ after Kolkata Police had forcefully detained eight CBI officials who had gone to visit police commissioner Rajeev Kumar to obtain crucial information regarding the Saradha scam.

Rajeev Kumar’s role is under the CBI’s scanner for deliberately withholding some crucial and incriminating documents that the SIT had collected in the chit fund scams probe. The Central Bureau of Investigation had also expressed fear over the destruction of evidence after the Kolkata police had taken charge of all evidence and seized all documents. The BJP had alleged that these documents point fingers at various TMC leaders and people close to Mamata Banerjee.

Interim CBI Chief M Nageshwar Rao had said that a lot of evidence is being destroyed or being caused to disappear. Earlier too, the CBI had claimed that the West Bengal government was obstructing investigation in Saradha Chit Fund scam. It has alleged that the “hostile” government is delaying the filing of the final charge sheet.

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