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West Bengal Congress chief claims ‘influential people’ involved in Saradha scam might get ex-cop Rajeev Kumar ‘killed’

TMC government is leaving no stones unturned to protect him. There can be efforts to silence him, said WB Congress head Somen Mitra.

West Bengal Congress chief Somen Mitra on Saturday said that former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar “might get killed” so that he doesn’t name influential people in the Saradha chit fund scam.

In connection with the high-profile Saradha scam which came to the fore in April 2013, the CBI has been in constant pursuit to arrest ex-Kolkata top cop Rajeev Kumar, who is accused of suppressing and destroying crucial evidence regarding the Saradha scam.

Rajeev Kumar, who is known to be a close aide of WB chief minister Mamata Banerjee, has been untraceable and missing CBI summons. CBI had been conducting searches at places across Kolkata to trace the top cop. Notably, CBI has also alleged that Mamta Banerjee government has been deliberately impeding the investigation into Chit Fund Scam.

Stating his take on why Rajeev Kumar is on the run, Congress leader Somen Mitra said: “It is quite clear that if Rajeev Kumar is arrested by the CBI and he talks, several influential people will be in trouble. Several top TMC (Trinamool Congress) leaders and ministers have been interrogated and arrested by CBI in this chit fund scam. That is why the TMC government is leaving no stones unturned to protect him. There can be efforts to silence him,” he said. “We apprehend that he might get killed,” he added.

“Rajeev Kumar headed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the TMC government to investigate the chit fund scam in 2013. But after the CBI took over the probe in 2014, there have been allegations that he suppressed crucial evidence in the case in order to help influential people involved in the scam,” he added.

Former Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar facing arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the Saradha chit fund case, failed to appear before the agency despite repeated summons, following which the federal investigation agency is considering legal action.

On September 19, Kumar had been served a fresh notice by CBI under section 160 of the CrPc demanding that he appear before the investigative agency immediately in connection with the Saradha scam, but he has been untraceable.

As per latest reports, the CBI has now filed a petition for issuing a non-bailable warrant against Rajeev Kumar in Alipore court.

Kumar is currently serving as the Additional Director General of CID in West Bengal and is on leave from 9 September to 25 September.

Kumar had earlier moved the North 24-Parganas district court at Barasat seeking interim protection from arrest. Judge Mohammad Shabbar Rashidi had observed that his court had no jurisdiction over the matter and therefore, he could not entertain the petition. “Since the district judge observed that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain Kumar’s petition, the IPS officer has no option but to move his case before an appropriate forum. An additional chief judicial magistrate of Alipore court can hear such a petition,” said a senior lawyer.

The CBI has now also asked the West Bengal Director General of Police (DGP) to provide the contact details of Kumar. As per reports, the West Bengal DGP, in a letter on Monday, had told CBI that its notices were sent to Kumar’s official residence and his response was awaited.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Sunday had visited Nabanna, West Bengal secretariat, to hand over letters addressed to the DGP, chief secretary and home secretary, to know about whereabouts of Kolkata’s former top cop and the Saradha scam accused, Rajeev Kumar. But they were turned away and asked to come on a ‘working day’.

Kumar, a 1989-batch IPS officer, was the part of a Special Investigation Team set up by the state government to investigate the Saradha scam, before the Supreme Court handed over the case to the CBI in 2014, along with other chit fund cases. Rajeev Kumar is accused of shielding some of the accused and destroying evidence in West Bengal’s Saradha Chit Fund scam case.

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