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Saradha case: CBI to question Kolkata Police chief again today, Trinamool ex-MP also called

Earlier, sources had told The Indian Express that the Kumar had requested the CBI that he won’t be able to stay in Shillong for long as that would affect the police deployment decision ahead of Saraswati Puja and board exams.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: February 10, 2019 9:32:44 am
Kolkata police commissioner, Rajeev Kumar, Mamata Banerjee, Rajeev Kumar interrogation, Saradha chit funds case, Saradha scam, CBI, Shillong Tight security arrangments were made outside the CBI office where Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar was questioned today in connection with chit fund case, in Shillong. (PTI)

The CBI on Saturday questioned Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar for nearly eight hours in Shillong in connection with the chit fund scam cases, and has asked him to appear again on Sunday, according to information.

The agency has already summoned former Trinamool Congress MP Kunal Ghosh for questioning in the Meghalaya capital on Sunday, and sources said there is a possibility that the two will be made to sit face-to-face for questioning.

Sources said CBI is trying to trace CCTV footage of the offices of the chit fund company that was allegedly stored in a pen drive, which is said to have gone missing.

Sources said Kumar’s questioning began around 11.30 am and continued until 7.30 pm.

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Kumar’s counsel Biswajit Deb said the Kolkata Police chief is “cooperating and complying” with the CBI, PTI reported. “He (Kumar) has come here on the orders of the Supreme Court. He has complied earlier and he is complying now as per the orders,” he was quoted by PTI.

The CBI team questioned Kumar in two phases, asking him, among others, why he had been avoiding the agency for long despite multiple summons, sources said. He was also asked about the list of items seized by Kolkata Police’s SIT probing the chit fund scam — Kumar was leading it at the time. The CBI also quizzed him about the “tampered” call data records (CDR), and whether he was under any pressure.

Accompanied by his counsel, Deb, Assistant Commissioner of Police Jawed Shamim and Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Task Force) Murlidhar Sharma, the Kolkata Police chief arrived at the CBI office in Shillong at 10.50 am.

Read | A long way from Kolkata, Delhi…lies West Bengal’s Saradha chit fund country

Sources said Deb requested the agency’s officers to let him be present during the questioning but was not allowed.

The CBI team took Kumar to a separate hall for questioning around 11.15 am, and Deb, along with the two Kolkata Police officers, left the premises soon after.

Sources said Deb had told the CBI team that it will be difficult for Kumar to stay in Shillong for long, as Saraswati Puja, a big festival in West Bengal, will be observed on Sunday, and the Board examinations begin from Tuesday. The police chief’s absence from Kolkata would affect decision related to deployment of forces in the city, the CBI team was told.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court asked Kumar to appear before the CBI and “faithfully” cooperate in the investigation. The court also said no coercive steps, including his arrest, will take place during the course of the probe.

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