statesman news service
KOLKATA, 21 JUNE: Former state housing minister, Mr Gautam Deb, who appeared today before CID officials in connection with an alleged land scam said it was not his responsibility to satisfy the CID and it was the chief minister who had orchestrated a plan to detain him for two hours.
Emerging from the two-hour interrogation, Mr Deb said that the officials treated him well and he was served tea and biscuit. He was accompanied by former party MP, Mr Sujan Chakraborty. Expressing his anger over the entire exercise, he told reporters that he came to CID not to satisfy them.
Mr Deb was summoned by the CID on 14 June and he agreed to appear before it following a decision taken by the state committee of the CPI-M. He was summoned for his alleged giving away of premium land of HIDCO in Mahestala to a favoured builder without tender. A case has been registered against him for the alleged land scam in which Chandan Basu, son of former chief minister Jyoti Basu, is allegedly involved and got land at a throwaway price without tender. On 2 April housing board secretary Mr Ajay Dutta filed an FIR at Kolkata&’s Taltala police station alleging serious “financial anomalies” in the transactions of Bengal Greenfield Housing Development Corporation Ltd.
The company is one of eight real estate firms with which the state government had initiated joint venture housing projects. On the basis of the complaint a case has been started under Sections 406, 409, 418, 420 and 120b of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act. The case was later handed over to CID.
CPI-M supporters and leaders of Kolkata district committee of the party gathered outside CID headquarters at Bhawani Bhavan while Mr Deb was facing the interrogation. This caused massive traffic disruption as police diverted traffic along Belvedere Road. However, joint CP (headquarters), Mr Jawed Shamim, said the road was not closed and it was clogged due to the crowd that gathered outside Bhawani Bhavan.
Supporters who gathered outside the CID headquarters said that the Trinamul Congress was making allegations against their leader to malign the party before the panchyat election. A supporter said that the practice was rampant as it had earlier booked their leaders like Mr Susanta Ghosh and Laxman Seth without much success.
A special audit team set up by chief minister Mamata Banerjee to investigate the deals signed by the state housing board with Greenfield Housing Development Corporation Ltd has allegedly unearthed financial irregularities of more than Rs 20 crore. Interestingly, Mr Basu is one of the directors of the Greenfield Housing Development Corporation Ltd and the entire deal was completed during the Left regime.