Kolkata: Top Bengal police officers, including the state DGP and Kolkata police commissioner have been put under the Central Vigilance Commission scanner by the Narendra Modi government over allegations of “distorting” the Saradha scam investigation.
According to sources the development comes just months after former Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh wrote to Prime Minister Modi seeking his intervention in the matter.
In his letter, dated June 7, 2017, Ghosh had sought “investigation and necessary action against those police officials”, whom he claimed had “distorted the process, taken politically steps, protected actual conspirators/ beneficiaries, suppressed actual facts and plan fully directed the (Saradha scam) probe in favour of some influential persons.”
Acting on Ghosh’s complaint, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) under the Ministry of Personnel, PG and Pension, under the Prime Minister himself, has forwarded the petition to the Central Vigilance Commission for “appropriate action”.
The Centre’s communique to the CVC, dated August 2, 2017 and signed by S.P.R Tripathi, an Under Secretary to the Government of India (GoI) states: Petitioner is seeking CBI investigation against IPS officers for distortion of the Saradha Probe in West Bengal.
“I have received a copy of the letter that Central Government has written to the Central vigilance Commission in which they have send the matter for investigation and action,” Kunal Ghosh said.
“Few police officers, including some IPS officers have tried their best to cover up the matter on behalf of some influential people. I had written to the prime minister and home minister to kindly intervene. I think they (police officers) are also a part of the larger conspiracy related to Shardha Scam,” he added.
In his complaint, Ghosh has named the present Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar, who was the head of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by Bengal government to probe the Saradha scam. Kumar was the Bidhannagar Police Commissioner at that time.
Known for his proximity to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, he was subsequently promoted as the Kolkata police chief.
State Director general of Police Surajit Kar Purakayastha also features in Ghosh’s complaint.
“Those IPS officers who are on my complaint list include Surajit Kar Purakayastha, presently the DG of West Bengal police who had attended agent meetings of Saradha Group while praising its promoter Sudipto Sen,” Ghosh told India Today.
Another police officer named in his complaint is the former Deputy Commissioner (Detective Department) of Bidhannagar Police Arnab Ghosh. Ghosh is now posted as the Police Superintendent of Malda district.
For long, the opposition BJP in West Bengal has accused Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar of sabotaging the Saradha scam probe as the SIT chief.
In fact, Kumar was unceremoniously removed from his post by the Election Commission just before the West Bengal assembly elections last year following a combined opposition complaint against him. However, immediately after she came back to power, chief minister Mamata Banerjee reinstated the 1989 batch IPS officer as the Kolkata police chief.