Kolkata: The West Bengal CID on Saturday arrested a state police officer, known to be a close aid of former IPS officer and new BJP joinee Bharati Ghosh, for allegedly leaking confidential information, an official said.
“Officer Pradip Rath was arrested on Saturday. He has been remanded in nine-day CID custody,” a CID official said. Rath was previously arrested by the state investigation agency in February last year in relation with an extortion case in West Midnapore district’s Daspur where Bharati Ghosh served as the district police chief.
Ghosh, once considered close to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, took voluntary retirement last year on being shunted to a less important post after she reportedly fell out of favour with Banerjee.
Rath, the former officer in-charge of Daspur, was serving as the officer in-charge of Belda police station in the same district during the time of his previous arrest on February 19, 2018.
He was subsequently released on bail and was serving in the office of the Superintendent of Police of Bengal’s Alipurduar district. His arrest comes within a week of Bharati Ghosh joining BJP. According to CID, the officer was involved in collecting call record details of a number of complainants and witnesses in the Daspur extortion case from the telephone service providers by using the office email of Alipurduar police chief.
He has been arrested on the charges of criminal breach of trust by public servant (IPC 409), framing of incorrect document with intent to cause injury (IPC 167), criminal conspiracy (IPC 120B).
Ghosh has recently submitted the call record details of certain police officers related to the Daspur case probe in the Supreme Court to argue that she was being framed by the Bengal government.
The CID had previously arrested four police officers including Rath, who worked under former IPS Ghosh, in the extortion case while a caretaker of an apartment in south Kolkata was also held.
The CID raids started following a case of extortion and criminal conspiracy was lodged in West Midnapore district’s Daspur on February 1 last year after a gold trader, Chandan Majhi, complained against some police officers in the district thought to be close to former SP Ghosh.
The sleuths had earlier seized more than Rs 2.4 crore in cash, several important government documents and an array of sealed liquor bottles while raiding a number of flats in an apartment in Kolkata’s Madurdaha, suspected to be owned by Ghosh while large amount of unaccounted cash was also seized from the house of several police officers named in the FIR.
Ghosh’s husband M.A.V. Raju, a chartered accountant, was also arrested in the cash-for-gold case last year.