CBI, ED glare on Trinamul biggies
Two central investigating agencies — the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) — have sent separate notices to Trinamul leaders, including Partha Chatterjee and former transport minister Madan Mitra, in connection with ongoing probes into deposit mobilising companies such as Saradha and others.
Chatterjee, Trinamul’s nominee for Assembly polls from Calcutta’s Behala West, has been asked to appear for a round of questioning on March 15 for his alleged involvement with I-Core group, a deposit mobilising company that the CBI claims allegedly raised around Rs 3,000 crore from people by offering high returns on investment in violation of norms.
Chatterjee, the CBI claimed, had apparently attended one of the functions of the I-Core group where he reportedly promised government support. The agency wants to know if there was any monetary transaction between him and the Group, whose director Anukul Maity died in November. Maity was in CBI custody since 2017.
Chatterjee said he was ready to face questions but before that wanted to go through the letter minutely.
Earlier on Wednesday, the CBI had sent a letter to Trinamul’s Manas Bhuiyan in connection with its probe into the I-Core Group case.
The ED summoned Mitra, who is contesting on behalf of Trinamul from Kamarhati Assembly seat this time, to appear for a round of questioning on March 18 in connection with agency's probe on Saradha deposit mobilising case. Mitra, arrested in December 2014 and released on bail in September 2016, has been asked to turn up with few documents, the summons coming about a week after his candidature was declared by the party supremo Mamata Banerjee. Mitra has been summoned along with another industrialist from Bengal, senior officials in the ED said.
In a separate move, the CBI on Friday summoned to two family members of Trinamul MP Abhishek Banerjee's sister-in-law Menaka Gambhir — husband Ankush Arora and father-in-law Pawan Arora — on March 15 in connection with the multi-crore coal pilferage case.
The Trinamul leadership termed the move by the two agencies as motivated action to create a flutter ahead of the Assembly elections.
“The BJP has two allies now, the CBI and ED, which are being used to pressurise and intimidate Trinamul leaders. But it will boomerang," said Trinamul leader Saugata Roy.