April 5, 2021 1:23:47 am
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested West Bengal police officer Ashok Mishra in a case of coal pilferage, agency officials said on Sunday.
Mishra, the inspector in charge of Bankura police station for the past three years, was arrested on Saturday night.
Sources said the EC summoned the officer for questioning and then arrested him. He is allegedly close to the scam’s suspected kingpin Anup Majhi alias Lala, and is accused of being involved in financial transactions with coal smugglers. Majhi is scheduled to appear before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday for questioning.
He has been interrogated twice till now.
Apart from Majhi, Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee’s wife Rujira Banerjee and her sister Menaka Gambhir have been questioned. Menaka’s husband and father, railway officials, businessmen, and several police officers have also been quizzed.
The CBI filed a case on November 27, 2020, in connection with its inquiries into alleged illegal mining and theft of coal from the Kunustoria and Kajoria coal fields of Eastern Coalfield Limited (ECL). The FIR named several senior ECL officials, and unidentified officials of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Railways and other government departments. They were charged under IPC sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Last month, the ED arrested TMC leader Vinay Mishra’s brother Vikash Mishra in Delhi in connection with a cattle smuggling racket and the coal theft case. Vinay Mishra has been evading interrogation, following which a lookout circular was issued against him, officials said. The directorate is probing the money trail in the coal case, according to sources.
BJP releases clip, alleges Abhishek involvement
Kolkata: BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari on Sunday released an audio conversation purportedly between an unidentified person and main accused in the coal pilferage case Anup Majhi’s aide Ganesh Bagaria, and claimed TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee’s involvement. The TMC denied the allegation, saying the release was BJP’s attempt to sidestep real issues in view of its impending defeat in the Assembly polls. The Indian Express could not independently verify the content of the audio clip. Adhikari alleged that TMC leaders had received up to Rs 900 crore over 10-12 years. “The TMC and the chief minister are directly involved in the coal scam. The nephew is closely related to Ganesh Bagaria, who has serious allegations against him. Another ally of the nephew, Vikash Mishra, has already been arrested. Police and IPS officers are embroiled in the coal case. We want the central agencies probing the case to speed up the investigation,” he said at a news conference in Kolkata.
Express News Service
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