The Kolkata Police on Sunday said that Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar was not “missing”, as has been claimed in some media reports.
In a statement, the police department warned of legal action against media houses spreading such “baseless news” without verification.
“We have noticed a news item doing the rounds of various audiovisual, print, and digital media since Saturday, 02.02.19, to the effect that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is ‘looking for’ Shri Rajeev Kumar, Commissioner of Police, Kolkata, in connection with the Saradha chit fund cases,” the police said in its statement, adding that the news reports mentioned that Kumar had not been attending office for three days.
The Kolkata Police said Commissioner Rajeev Kumar had been attending office regularly.
“Kolkata Police condemns and denies such baseless news. Please take note that not only is the CP Kolkata available in the city, but has also been attending office on a regular basis, with the exception of 31.1.19, when he was on leave for a day,” said the police statement.
“All concerned may please take note that if any news is spread without proper verification, Kolkata Police will initiate strict legal action against defamation of both the CP Kolkata and Kolkata Police,” it read.
Some news agencies and media houses had on Saturday reported that the country’s apex probe agency CBI was “looking” for the commissioner in connection with its ongoing probe in the Saradha and Rose Valley chit-fund scams.
Citing sources in the CBI, the media reports had also claimed that the 1989 batch IPS officer, considered close to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, might be “arrested”.
On Saturday, Banerjee had issued an apology to the Election Commission of India (ECI) for the absence of the police chief from a meeting called on Thursday, 31 January, to discuss the state’s poll preparedness.
Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora had demanded an explanation from the Trinamool Congress government over Kumar’s absence.
“Rajeev Kumar is working as the city police commissioner for over three years and he is now on leave. If the CEC says so, I am sorry for that,” Banerjee was quoted as saying by PTI.
The CBI had earlier arrested top Bengali film producer Shrikant Mohta in connection with the Rose Valley scam.
Mohta, the co-founder of Shree Venkatesh Films, was arrested on 24 January after his interrogation by the CBI at his office in Kasba in Kolkata and subsequent detention.