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CBI choice for Bengal cops

- Saradha papers or quiz

New Delhi, Aug. 30: The CBI is thinking of questioning two senior Bengal police officers and recording their statements if they fail to hand over key Saradha documents by next week, an officer of the central agency said today.

The two officers who could be quizzed are Bidhannagar police commissioner Rajeev Kumar and former Bidhannagar deputy commissioner Arnab Ghosh.

Kumar had headed the special investigation team constituted by the Bengal government to probe the Saradha scandal before the Supreme Court handed over the investigation to the CBI. Ghosh reported to Kumar.

Kumar was decorated this month by the chief minister for outstanding service while Ghosh has been sent to Nadia as superintendent of police, a post more coveted than that of a deputy commissioner.

“We have sent a reminder to Bengal police on the missing papers. If they fail to provide the documents by next week, we will question Kumar and Ghosh and record their statements to pin responsibility for the papers,” the senior CBI officer told The Telegraph.

“We cannot allow any obstructionist attitude…. We will take legal recourse if they fail to hand over the missing papers and we will also inform the Supreme Court,” the CBI officer said.

Earlier, another federal agency, the Enforcement Directorate, had complained to Calcutta High Court and sought its intervention alleging non-cooperation from Bengal police and other state agencies.

CBI director Ranjit Sinha, too, had served an “ultimatum” on Bengal police to hand over by July 31 another set of documents, following which Bidhannagar police had furnished copies of six FIRs related to the scandal and a list of seizures.

CBI sources said the papers the investigators were looking for now included bank statements of the accounts of Saradha chief Sudipta Sen and other suspects. The CBI is also keen to vet documents purportedly found in bank lockers, including one in Salt Lake during a nocturnal operation by Bidhannagar police.

“The seizure list which Bengal police handed over last month does not include these documents. We did not find the papers we are looking for. This is why we have again given them the deadline. We are still not sure whether those documents have been suppressed or destroyed,” said a CBI officer.

Calls to Kumar’s phone did not elicit any response. No reply was forthcoming to text messages sent to the same number for the Bidhannagar police chief’s response to the CBI’s statements.

Bengal director-general of police G.M.P. Reddy said they were co-operating with the CBI. “We have been providing them documents and will provide more if they want,” Reddy said over the phone.


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