NEW DELHI/ KOLKATA: In an unprecedented development, a number of CBI officers, who had gone to question Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar in connection with chit fund scam cases, were bundled into police jeeps, whisked to a police station and detained on Sunday, officials said.
Amidst escalating tension between West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Centre, Loudon Street in central Kolkata witnessed a virtual showdown between the state police and the CBI.
There were conflicting reports about some CBI officers being arrested. While the agency sources claimed that some of its men were forcibly taken away from Kumar's Loudon Street residence and arrested, a senior police officer denied the claim and said they have been taken to the police station to check if they had the documents required for questioning Kumar.
As politics played out on the street, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee rushed to the residence of Kumar.
She had earlier extended her support to Kumar and alleged that the BJP was "misusing power to take control of the police and all other institutions".
West Bengal: Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim arrives at the residence of Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is also present there, a meeting is currently underway. pic.twitter.com/48JDc0TTS0— ANI (@ANI) 3 February 2019
The CBI has been trying to locate Kumar to question him in connection with Rose Valley and Saradha ponzi scam cases and might arrest him as the last resort, the officials said.
The IPS officer, who led a Special Investigation Team of West Bengal Police probing the scams, needs to be questioned regarding missing documents and files but he has not responded to notices to appear before the agency, they said.
When the CBI team reached Kumar's residence, it was stopped outside by officials and sentries, they said.
A team of Kolkata Police officers rushed to the spot to speak to the CBI officials and tried to enquire whether they had required documents to question Kumar.
Kumar, a 1989-batch IPS officer of West Bengal cadre, did not even attend a meeting with Election Commission officials who had gone to Kolkata to review election preparedness, sources said.
The Kolkata Police Commissioner is among the best in the world. His integrity, bravery and honesty are unquestioned. He is working 24x7, and was on leave for only one day recently. When you spread lies, the lies— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) February 3, 2019
will always remain lies 2/2
A statement was issued Sunday from Kolkata Police, dismissing reports of him being missing from work.
"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 January 31, 2019, when he was on leave for a day. 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," the police said.