Kolkata

CBI ‘closing in’ on West Bengal Minister

With two days of successive questioning of the former personal assistant of West Bengal Transport Minister, Madan Mitra (in picture), the CBI seems to be closing in on key leaders of the ruling Trinamool Congress. File photo  

With two days of successive questioning of the former personal assistant of West Bengal Transport Minister, Madan Mitra, the CBI seems to be closing in on key leaders of the ruling party. The agency is investigating the multi-crore Saradha ponzy scheme scam.

Former PA grilled again

On Friday, a day after he was interrogated for eight hours, the CBI called Bapi Karim, the former PA to Mr. Mitra, to its Salt Lake office here. “The CBI was questioning me again and again about him [Mr. Mitra],” Mr. Karim told journalists here.

Mr. Karim, who claimed that he is being made a “scapegoat” in the scam, admitted that he had visited the headquarters of the scam-tainted Saradha Group several times. “I went to the Saradha office to hand over an invitation to a programme. The company donated Rs. 1 crore for the renovation work of the Laxmi Narayan temple and the Minister was present at the event,” the former PA said.

In April 2014, Mr. Mitra himself had admitted before journalists that Saradha Chairman and Managing Director Sudipta Sen donated Rs. 3 crore for a temple in his constituency at Bishnupur in South 24 Parganas district. Mr Karim’s admission may come as corroborative evidence of Mr. Mitra’s links with the Saradha Group.

Discrepancies

The long grilling session of Mr. Karim is considered in the political circles as an attempt by the CBI to gather evidence against Mr. Mitra. Several discrepancies have also emerged in the statements made by Mr. Karim, sources said.

There are video footages showing Mr. Mitra at a number of events with Saradha kingpin, where he lauded the businessman.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2021 6:23:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/cbi-closing-in-on-west-bengal-minister/article6363613.ece

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