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WB Police detains CBI team, Mamata sits on dharna; High drama in Kolkata

Mamata is accompanied by Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim and other TMC leaders

Sunday February 3, 2019 11:44 PM, ummid.com & Agencies

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata Dharna

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Sunday sat on dahrna near Esplanade and a makeshift office is being constructed near Metro channel from where she will conduct all administrative business tomorrow, including chairing a budget-related cabinet meeting.

Mamata is accompanied by Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim and other TMC leaders. The move followed after a stand-off between a CBI team and Kolkata Police Commissionser Rajeev Kumar.

According to reports, the CBI team wanted to quiz Rajeev Kumar in connections with two ponzi schemes. However, as soon as the CBI team reached Kumar's residence, it was detained by Kolkata police and taken to a nearby police station. The CBI team was later "released".

"The CBI officials were not detained. They were taken to the police station to check if they had the needed documents to probe the Kolkata police chief", a local police officer said.

Rajeev Kumar -- who headed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Saradha and Rose Valley Ponzi scams that surfaced in 2013 -- was asked to help with the investigation after several key documents allegedly went missing. Over the last two years he had received several summons for questioning. He however did not turn up for questioning, media reports said.

Mamata Banerjee meanwhile accused the Union government of using the CBI to target political opponents. She said it all started after the "massive rally" the TMC had organised in Kolkata two weeks ago. The rally was attended by about two dozen leaders from different opposition parties.

"The Kolkata Police Commissioner is among the best in the world. His integrity, bravery and honesty are unquestioned. He is working 24x7, and was on leave for only one day recently. When you spread lies, the lies will always remain lies", Banerjee wrote on Twitter.

Later while talking to local reporters, she lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah and said there is a constitutional breakdown under PM Modi.

“PM Modi is destroying institutions in the country. How can CBI officials come to Kolkata police chief’s residence without a warrant? I am proud of my police force. Kolkata police chief is among the best, ” she said.

The opposition has rallied around Banerjee, with various leaders - including Arvind Kejriwal, Tejashwi Yadav, Lalu Yadav and HD Devegowda tweeting their outrage. Mr Kejriwal, Omar Abdullah and senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel has called up Mamata Banerjee and offered her full support.

"I am shocked learning about the CBI rushing to arrest the Police Commissioner and subsequent developments in West Bengal. The country has faced similar kind of unconstitutional methods during the Emergency. Situation in WB is similar to that of the emergency days", former Prime Minister Devegowda and JD(S) leader wrote on Twitter.

Extending his support to Mamata Banerjee, Omar Abdullah, former Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, said, "Just spoke to @MamataOfficial didi to convey the support of @JKNC_ as she sits in dharna. The use of the CBI as a political tool has crossed all limits as has the Modi government’s misuse of institutions. A former CM having such little regard for India’s federalism is shocking."

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