Kolkata Police supports its chief: ‘CBI witch hunt’https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/kolkata-police-supports-its-chief-cbi-witch-hunt-5572913/

Kolkata Police supports its chief: ‘CBI witch hunt’

The message refers to CBI as the “New India Witch Hunting Team”. A senior police officer said it is being done to “boost morale”.

Rajeev Kumar (L) the new police commissioner of Kolkata Police with outgoing Police commissioner Surajit Kar Purakayastha who is elevated as DG Cid , in Kolkata on February 03, 2016. Express archive photo.

A WHATSAPP message pledging support to their chief Rajeev Kumar in the ongoing standoff over the Saradha chit fund case has been circulating in the Kolkata Police ranks. The message refers to CBI as the “New India Witch Hunting Team”. A senior police officer said it is being done to “boost morale”.

On Tuesday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had ended her dharna — started in protest against the CBI’s raid at Kumar’s residence — after the Supreme Court directed him to appear before the agency while it making it clear that he will not be arrested. Kumar had headed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by Mamata in April 2013 to investigate the Saradha case.

“On January 4, 2017, a national-level BJP leader (an apparent reference to Kailash Vijayvargiya)…accused Rajeev Kumar of destroying evidences in connection with the Saradha case investigation, when he was a member of the SIT. This was the first time he was accused of being involved,” read the message.

“…He (Kumar)…took to legal recourse by filing a criminal as well as civil case of defamation against the said political leader on February 17, 2017. The court accepted the complaint and directed the said political leader to appear before it in March 2017. All…know that the best defence against defamation charges is “truth”…The leader could have defended himself in court with the “truth”. Instead…the political leader in connivance with CBI decided to …teach him (Kumar) a lesson. Hence began the witch hunt,” it further said.

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Sources said CBI issued its first summons to the Kolkata Police chief under CrPc section 160 Rajeev Kumar on October 29, 2017, to which Kumar had replied via email. “Rajeev Kumar indicated he may be available in the first week of November. He received the notice a day before Diwali and Kali Puja…and being commissioner, he was extremely busy with…law and order management. Another notice was sent under section 160 CrPC on October 23, 2017…This clearly reveals that the intention of CBI…was not to examine him and conduct fair investigation… but to build up documents/evidences to show his non-compliance of legal procedures and make him an instrument to embarrass the state machinery…” said the message.

“The incident (CBI raid) is unprecedented…Any visitor to the (commissioner’s) residence… comes with prior appointment and (one) can enter the premises only after being cleared at the main gate…In a…“letter” submitted by CBI personnel later to Shakespeare Sarani police station, the IO — signatory to the said letter, dubiously mentioned the purpose of the visit was “to conduct special/secret operation”,” said the message. CBI officials refused to comment on the message.