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Left CBI probe cry into funds misuse

Asok Bhattacharya

Siliguri, Dec. 2: Asok Bhattacharya, the CPM leaders and former chairman of the SJDA, today said a PIL would be filed soon in Calcutta High Court seeking a CBI investigation into the SJDA funds misuse.

Bhattacharya said: “Whatever has happened in the past two-three days, from the transfer of the commissioner of police to the release of the former CEO, has left us with serious doubts. We don’t think an independent and proper investigation into the scam is possible any more by the police or its investigating agency,” he said.

“We thus demand a CBI inquiry into the case so that all those involved in the scam are nabbed and produced before the court of law,” Bhattacharya said.

“We had already consulted Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya (CPM leader and lawyer) on the issue in Calcutta. It has been decided that shortly, a PIL will be filed in Calcutta High Court. It will not be somebody from our party but somebody from Calcutta who will file the PIL, requesting the court a CBI inquiry into the scam,” the CPM leader said.

Bhattacharya, while speaking further on the scam, said he had obtained the report submitted by a group of experts of Jadavpur University.

The SJDA, after north Bengal development minister Gautam Deb assumed charge as its chairman, had assigned JU the task to conduct a technical audit of all SJDA projects — ongoing and completed, Bhattacharya said.

“The experts have prepared the report. We have managed to get (a copy of) it and have studied it. Gross anomalies, which were found during police investigation, have been mentioned in the technical audit report. For example, it has been mentioned there is anomaly in the amount of garbage and silt which is shown in paper work while a much lesser quantity has been actually removed from the Jorapani river (that flows through Siliguri),” he said.

CPM leaders, who came out in the streets to protest and hold a rally demanding a CBI probe, also said the release of G. Kiran Kumar within 24 hours of his arrest was “blatant proof of political interference”.

“The release of the former CEO within 24 hours after he was taken into custody and the prompt removal of the commissioner of police clearly hint that the investigation of the case will suffer a setback,” Bhattacharya said.

“Political interference from the highest level of Trinamul is clear here. What the government did to a competent and senior police officer would make police officers think twice before moving ahead with an investigation,” he said.