THE STATE CID on Friday arrested two police officers, apparently close to retired IPS officer Bharati Ghosh, for their alleged involvement in misconduct and extortion at Daspur in West Midnapore. The arrests were made in connection with a compliant lodged by gold trader Chandan Majhi, who had accused several police officers in West Midnapore of extorting him when Ghosh was posted as the SP of the district.
Those arrested are Inspector Subhankar De and Sub-Inspector Chitta Pal, posted at Ghatal police station in West Midnapore. “While Pal was officer in-charge of Ghatal police station, De the circle inspector of the area at the time of the incident. They will be produced in court on Saturday,” CID (Operations) DIG Nishat Parvez said.
The CID seized approximately Rs 40 lakh cash and unaccounted wealth during raids at De’s residence and around Rs 16 lakh cash and unaccounted wealth from Pal, he added. “All legal norms were followed. We will continue our search. Officers have spread out beyond state borders for taking legal action against other suspects and accused,” the officer said.
The agency, meanwhile, has served a second notice at the residence of Ghosh’s husband MAV Raju, asking him to appear before CID officers Saturday. It had also summoned Raju to its headquarters on Tuesday, but he had cited a week’s time, citing his health condition. The matter came to light when last Thursday, the CID and police raided the premises of 12 police officers considered close to Ghosh as part of its probe. Officers claimed to have recovered Rs 60 lakh cash, 2 kg gold and several land and property deeds.
While sources said three of Ghosh’s houses in Kolkata were among those raided, CID had denied this, despite officers being spotted outside the properties the same day. On Tuesday, too, the CID had raided three flats at an apartment building in Kolkata’s Madurdaha, allegedly belonging to Ghosh and her husband and claimed to have recovered Rs 2 crore. On Thursday, a CID team again raided the property, seizing liquor and “government documents”. The CID had arrested Bimal Ghorai, a gold trader, and Raj Mangal Singh — the caretaker of the Madurdaha building.
Biswajit Chakraborty, the owner of a flat at the Madurdaha building, on Wednesday had lodged a complaint at Anandapur police station alleging an almirah was kept in his flat on the request of Raju. In this connection, the police station has summoned Raju for questioning on Saturday.
Known to be close to CM Mamata Banerjee, Ghosh had been transferred as West Midnapore SP on December 25, last year – a day after Sabang bypoll results were announced. Though the seat was won by Trinamool, sources said local leaders were displeased by the rise in BJP’s vote share, resulting in the transfer. After her transfer, Ghosh had taken voluntary retirement.