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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

SIT Formed to probe ‘illegal’ vaccination camps in Kolkata: Accused opened bank account in KMC’s name, says police

Police said the 28-year-old accused, who was arrested on Wednesday for organising illegal vaccination camps by impersonating as a joint commissioner of KMC, had also duped at least two persons of Rs 46 lakh on the pretext of helping them get KMC contracts.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
Updated: June 26, 2021 5:39:28 am
(Left) Trinamool MP Mimi Chakraborty (second from left) at a vaccination camp held by Debranjan Deb (second from right) at Kasba in Kolkata on Wednesday. (Express Photo)

As Kolkata Police formed a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the “fake” vaccination camp case, investigation on Friday found that accused Debanjan Deb, who posed as an IAS officer, had not only procured forged letter pads, stamps and identity cards but also opened a bank account in Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s (KMC) name.

Police said the 28-year-old accused, who was arrested on Wednesday for organising illegal vaccination camps by impersonating as a joint commissioner of KMC, had also duped at least two persons of Rs 46 lakh on the pretext of helping them get KMC contracts.

Police have not ruled out the involvement of KMC officials.

“People in Kolkata wants to help each other and that is the uniqueness of this city. Even during this tough phase, people are standing by each other. Such an inhuman act shows the distorted mindset of a particular person. It is unfortunate,” said Kolkata Police Commissioner Soumen Mitra.

The case has taken a political turn with Deb’s pictures with TMC leaders doing the rounds on social media.

The BJP on Friday demanded a CBI probe into the case, alleging TMC leaders’ links to Deb.

A police officer said Deb used to organise illegal camps free of cost.

“The genuineness of vaccines is being examined. At least 513 people have confirmed that they were given vaccines at Kasba and 72 at City College,” said the officer.

The alleged fraud came to light on Wednesday when actor and Trinamool Congress MP Mimi Chakraborty was invited a vaccination camp at Kasba in Kolkata. After taking the jab, she became suspicious as she did not receive a vaccination confirmation message on her phone.

At least five police complaints, including three by lawmakers, were filed against Deb on Friday.

Deb’s name was found engraved on a plaque below a bust of Rabindranath Tagore at a library in central Kolkata, which was inaugurated on February 26.

The plaque has the names of state minister and TMC MLA Firhad Hakim, TMC MP Sudip Bandopadhyay and TMC MLA Nayana Bandopadhyay. Bandopadhyay on Friday filed a police complaint that her name was used without her consent.

A member in the KMC Board of Administrators (BoA), Atin Ghosh, said, “None of our party leaders attended the inauguration programme.”

TMC MLA Lovely Maitra also filed a police complaint against the accused for introducing himself as a joint commissioner of KMC. She had sent several people from her Sonarpur constituency to take the shot at the Kasba camp.

TMC MP Dr Santanu Sen, who is seen in a photograph with Deb, filed a compliant against him at Muchipara police station for allegedly orchestratign “ an organised crime to malign Mamata Banerjee’s government”.

It is alleged that Deb had distributed some medical items to the Indian Medical Association and the West Bengal Cricket Board. Sen is the secretary of the Indian Medical Association (West Bengal).

Initial investigation showed that Debanjan Deb’s father, who was Deputy Excise Collector, wanted him to become an IAS officer. Deb told police that he had appeared for the UPSC exam but could clear it. However to keep his family in good humour, he lied that he had cleared the UPSC exam.

Among his relative and in social circles, Deb was known as an IAS officer.

But his journey to the dark parth began when he enrolled himself as a filmmaker at a film festival where he made the first attempts to build his network at the Information and Culture Department and started attending its programmes, investigation showed. During Covid times, Deb rented a godown at Taltala where he stored medical supplies from Bagri market. To expand his network, he used to distribute these items for free.

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