West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday called the Supreme Court order to not arrest Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, a “moral victory” adding that the government has great respect for the judiciary and all institutions.
On being questioned on the court’s direction to Kumar to make himself available and cooperate with the CBI in its probe into the Saradha chit fund scam, Mamata said the officer had always wanted to meet at a mutual place and give a proper clarification.
The Supreme Court in its order stated that Kumar’s questioning by the CBI will be done in Shillong, as it is a neutral place.
Mamata further said it was not right on part of the CBI to conduct a “secret operation to arrest Kumar” on Sunday “without any notice”.
On being asked if Mamata Banerjee would continue with her sit-in to protest against the Centre, Mamata said she will talk with her leaders before taking any decision.
The chief minister said she will consult with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who is slated to visit her today, and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik among other leaders before taking any decision on the dharna.
The Supreme Court earlier in the day directed Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to cooperate with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in its probe into the Saradha chit fund scam even as the apex court ordered that Kumar must not be arrested by the agency.
The court also summoned Rajeev Kumar, Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police to appear before it on February 20, which is also the next date of hearing in the case.
A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court further directed Kumar to make all the documents related to the chit fund scam available for probe.
The CBI earlier on Tuesday filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court alleging there were several incriminating materials that were collected during the investigation by the CBI against the senior police officials as well as senior politicians in the Saradha chit fund scam.
The CBI in its affidavit also claimed that Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar had destroyed the evidence in the chit fund scam when he headed the SIT.
An intense drama was witnessed on Sunday afternoon when a team of 40-odd CBI officers reached Kumar’s residence, and a team of Kolkata Police officers rushed there to inquire if they had the documents required to question the CP.
Some CBI men were then bundled into police jeeps and taken to the police station.
After the CBI-police face-off, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee began a sit-in in front of the Metro Cinema to protest “insults” faced at the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. She accused both the BJP leaders of organising a “coup” on West Bengal.