Bengal CID at CPM leader Gautam Deb’s door,Jyoti Basu’s son may be next

Audit commissioned by Mamata Banerjee govt unearthed 'irregularities' worth over Rs 20 cr.

Written by Madhuparna Das | Kolkata | Published: June 14, 2013 9:58:34 pm

The West Bengal CID on Friday visited the home of former minister and top CPM leader Gautam Deb as part of their investigation into an alleged land scam in which Chandan Basu,the son of former chief minister Jyoti Basu,is said to have been a beneficiary.

Basu,whose name figures in an FIR lodged by the West Bengal Housing Board in April,is likely to be sought out next by investigators,top police sources said.

Deb was not at home,and the CID team was unable to deliver summons asking him to appear before the CID. CID officers said they would continue to try to contact Deb and get him to appear at the agency’s headquarters at Bhawani Bhawan in Alipore.

A special audit commissioned by the Mamata Banerjee government into deals signed by the state housing board with Greenfield Housing Development Corporation Ltd — of which Basu is said to be a director — at the time the Left Front was in power,has allegedly unearthed “financial irregularities” worth over Rs 20 crore.

On April 2,housing board secretary Ajay Dutta filed an FIR at Kolkata’s Taltala police station,alleging serious “financial anomalies” in the transactions of Bengal Greenfield Housing Development Corporation Ltd. The company is one of eight real estate firms with which the state government had initiated joint venture housing projects.

Deb,who was housing minister in the Left government,was named in the FIR along with Basu,Greenfield and several others.

The CID took over the case immediately after it was filed. After preliminary inquiries,it submitted a status report to the government,saying both Basu and Deb may have to be questioned.

Additional director general of police,CID,Sivaji Ghosh,when asked if Basu might be interrogated,said on Friday: “We are calling all related persons one by one. We cannot interrogate everybody together. We will call them one after the other.”

Vineet Goyal,DIG,CID said,“The CID team had gone to the residence of Gautam Deb in Salt Lake as part of an investigation process. We are investigating into a land scam case.”

Deb,an influential CPM leader who is a member of the party’s state secretariat and central committee,is currently being projected as a spearhead of the communists’ comeback effort in Bengal. He has been among the most visible critics of Mamata and her government on local television,making his arguments through elaborate charts,facts and figures,and engaging top Trinamool leaders in dramatic debates.

Deb,who was comprehensively defeated in the 2011 assembly election by former left intellectual Bratya Basu,is known as a firm Jyoti Basu loyalist within the CPM. The party appeared dismissive of the CID action on Friday.

“Who is afraid of them?” leader of the opposition and Politburo member Suryakanta Mishra said. “They have started digging out old files at a time when the state is rocked by crime against women,political violence,and above all,by the chit fund scam. The CID team wanted to deliver a letter to Gautam Deb. So Gautam Deb will respond to the letter,that is all we can say.”

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