The Central Bureau of Investigation on Saturday questioned Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in Meghalaya’s capital Shillong for about eight hours in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam, reported NDTV. Kumar had arrived in the city on Friday with three top West Bengal police officers, including Deputy Commissioner of Special Task Force Murlidhar Sharma.
The agency reportedly began the questioning at 11 am, and ended at 7 pm. He has been called for questioning again on Sunday, reported PTI. The questioning on Saturday did not make any headway, according to the Hindustan Times.
According to The Indian Express, unidentified officials said Kumar has told the CBI that he will not be able to stay in Shillong for long as his absence will affect the deployment of police in Kolkata during Saraswati Puja and board examinations. Saraswati Puja will be celebrated on Sunday, while board exams are set to begin from February 12.
The CBI is questioning Kumar since he led the special investigation team formed by the West Bengal government to conduct inquiries into the Saradha case as well as other ponzi schemes. On February 5, the Supreme Court ordered Kumar to cooperate with CBI investigators.
Mamata Banerjee’s ‘Save the Constitution’ protest
On February 3, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee began the “Save the Constitution” protest at Esplanade in Kolkata after CBI officials arrived at Kumar’s residence to question him. Banerjee, who described Kumar as “one of the best officers”, accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah of plotting a coup. She alleged that Modi and Shah had teamed up to humiliate West Bengal in retaliation for the meeting of 23 Opposition parties she organised in Kolkata on January 19.
Kumar had also joined the dharna, along with a few other police officers.
Banerjee ended her protest on February 5 and the same day, the Ministry of Home Affairs asked the West Bengal government to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Kumar for violation of service rules. The Centre on Thursday also reportedly decided to take away the medals awarded to six Indian Police Service officers, including Kumar, for participating in the protest.