Taking a complete U-turn on a statement he gave to the CBI a day ago, Bapi Karim, a former confidential assistant of state Transport Minister Madan Mitra, Friday told the agency that he had visited Saradha Group chief Sudipta Sen’s office once to collect a donation worth Rs 1 crore for the renovation work of a temple.
Karim gave the statement while being interrogated by the CBI for the second day. On Thursday he had told the agency that he had never been to Sen’s office.
On reaching the CBI’s Salt Lake office, Karim told reporters , “I had been asked to bring certain documents, including my voter identify card and bank papers. That is why I have come.”
Asked if he was acquainted about with Sen, Karim said, “I went to Saradha office once to accept a donation and to give an invitation card to the company for a programme. The company had donated Rs 1 crore for the renovation work of the Laxmi-Narayan temple. A programme was organised for that where the minister was also present”.
As per CBI sources, several properties were purchased in Karim’s and his relatives’ names in last few years. Karim, however, denied having any illegal property. “Show me the evidence. Whatever property we have, belongs to my family. We have inherited them from my father,” he said.
Karim was interrogated for more than nine hours Thursday. Today, the questioning was on till the last reports came in. Sources in the CBI said, the agency is tightening the noose around some “high profile” leaders of the ruling Trinamool Congress. The CBI, sources said, has also collected certain evidence, which establishes the link between Mitra and Sen.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that Asif Khan, a close associate of TMC general secretary Mukul Roy, has sent messages to the central agencies through certain channels that he wanted to record his statement and give some important information regarding the scam. A CBI team had Thursday conducted raids at Khan’s residence, though he was not present there. Sources in TMC ranks, however, said that Khan’s approach to the central agencies is the result of a fallout between him and Roy. Despite several attempts, Roy could not be contacted for comments.