Kolkata Police Commissioner and Ex-Trinamool Leader Appear Before CBI For Questioning

Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar on Monday appeared before the CBI for questioning for the third time in connection with investigations in chit fund cases. Mr Kumar arrived at the CBI office at 11 am, an hour after former Trinamool Congress leader Kunal Ghosh, another accused in the chit fund scam, arrived.

On Sunday, the probe agency confronted Mr Kumar with Mr Ghosh for five hours in connection with the Saradha chit fund and Rose Valley scams.

The former Trinamool Congress MP was arrested in 2013 in the Saradha scam and has been out on bail since 2016.

The Kolkata Police chief, who is accused of destroying evidence related to chit fund scam, was also questioned in the Rose Valley case on Sunday.

Mr Kumar led the special investigation team (SIT) formed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to probe the Saradha scam before the case was handed over to the CBI by the supreme court.

Quoting officials in Delhi, news agency PTI said the CBI has not agreed to Mr Kumar's demand to have his questioning session videographed, citing that the procedure is allowed only in cases of custodial interrogations.

Mr Ghosh earlier implicated BJP leader Mukul Roy, who was once the right hand man of Ms Banerjee, and 12 others in the Saradha scam.

The CBI is relying on a 91-page letter from Mr Ghosh, who was expelled by Trinamool, to the Enforcement Directorate, detailing the role of Rajeev Kumar in handling the investigations in the chit fund scam.

The Supreme Court had fixed Shillong as the venue for his interrogation, saying that its "neutral" status will prevent unnecessary controversy.

The CBI moved the Supreme Court after its officials were stopped by the Kolkata Police when they had gone to Mr Kumar's official residence in Kolkata to question him on February 3.

Ms Banerjee had rushed to the spot and staged a three-day 'Save the Constitution' sit-in against the CBI move, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national president Amit Shah of plotting a "coup".