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CBI arrests four persons in coal pilferage case

They were held from parts of Asansol in West Burdwan and Bankura
This is the first time that the CBI has made arrests in this case.

Abhijeet Chatterjee   |   Calcutta, Durgapur   |   Published 28.09.21, 02:05 AM

The CBI on Monday arrested four persons in connection with alleged theft of coal worth hundreds of crores of rupees from Bengal.

This is the first time that the CBI has made arrests in this case. The four, believed to be close associates of Anup Maji aka Lala, were arrested from parts of Asansol in West Burdwan and Bankura. The CBI said Narayan Kharka aka Narayan Nanda of Durgapur, Joydeb Mandal of Asansol, Nirod Mandal of Bankura and Gurupada Maji of Shaturi in Purulia had allegedly handled payments on behalf of Maji.

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The four will be produced in the CBI court in Asansol on Tuesday.

“During earlier interrogation, we had found several inconsistencies in the statements of each of the four. It later emerged that the four would strike deals on behalf of Lala, fix rates for movement of pilfered coal and even decide on the mode of payments,” said a senior CBI officer.

The arrests came on a day the Enforcement Directorate  sent a reminder to state law minister Malay Ghatak, asking him to appear for a round of questioning in the coal pilferage case. The ED has been probing into the money trail.

The ED had earlier asked Ghatak to appear for a round of questioning at its New Delhi office but the minister had evaded it.  The ED had arrested Ashok Mishra, inspector-in-charge of Bankura police station, in this case.

The investigations have revealed the four arrested on Monday by the CBI had been allegedly into the smuggling coal for decades. They used to work under Raju Jha — an alleged coal smuggler during the Left Front regime who joined the BJP ahead of the Assembly elections in May.

Madan questioned

The CBI interrogated former state minister and Trinamul MLA Madan Mitra at its office in the CGO Complex in Salt Lake City in connection with the I-Core ponzi scheme on Monday.

The agency had also summoned Mitra’s son Swarup in the same case. Sources said Swarup would appear before the investigators on Tuesday.

Mitra had earlier been grilled by the Enforcement Directorate in the same case.



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