Rose Valley scam: After Tapas, TMC LS leader Sudip Bandopadhyay arrested

Trinamool plans dharna in 10 states as a protest against the arrests. BJP state headquarters stone-pelted where some eleven BJP workers including two state-level leaders were injured.

Published: 03rd January 2017 12:10 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd January 2017 06:23 PM   |  A+A-

TMC MP Sudip Bandopadhyay arrives to appear before CBI in connection with Rose Valley chit fund scam | PTI

Express News Service

KOLKATA: In a major blow to Trinamool Congress, the party’s Lok Sabha leader Sudip Bandopadhyay was arrested by the CBI on Tuesday for non-cooperation in the investigation into the multi-crore Rose Valley scam. This was the second arrest in a week after actor-turned-Trinamool lawmaker Tapas Pal was arrested on Sunday for discrepancies in answers to his alleged involvement in the scam.

The arrest was made in the second half of the three-and-half-hour investigation on Tuesday afternoon after Sudip refused to answer several questions related to his connections to the scam. Sources revealed that despite being reminded by the CBI sleuths that not answering the queries would amount to non-cooperation in the investigation, Bandopadhyay refused to budge and was arrested.

Sudip would be flown to Bhubaneswar on Tuesday night, kept in custody for the night and produced in the court on Wednesday morning. Sources added that Sudip Bandopadhyay and Tapas Pal would be interrogated together so that more names related to the scam may be revealed.

Meanwhile, terming the arrest as ‘political revenge’, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced launch of 10-state-wide dawn to dusk dharna against the arrests and has also mooted legal action.

On the other hand, BJP state headquarters was stone-pelted allegedly by more than 1,000 TMC cadres. Some eleven BJP workers including two state-level leaders were injured in the incident.

Speaking to mediamen after the arrests, she said:“The arrests are a result of political vengeance because of opposition to demonetisation. ED and CBI are being used by the Narendra Modi-government to hunt down political opponents. We will launch an agitation from Monday in 10 states against this arm twisting tactics. We urge all the political parties to unite against this bulldozing,” she said. “If two of our MPs are arrested, why are BJP MP Babul Supriyo and CPM leader Sujan Chakraborty not being arrested for their involvement in the scam?," she asked, adding, “First of all, Narendra Modi and Amit Shah must be arrested. We have not forgotten Godhra riots.”

“The situation in our country is worse than the emergency. Many of the opposition parties are scared to speak up against BJP policies but we will not keep mum. We will seek justice from the court. Sudip da
need not worry, the people of Bengal are with him,” she said.

Meanwhile, the opposition parties in Bengal have welcomed the decision. “It is a welcome decision. The tainted TMC leaders were summoned again and again but refused to turn up as they knew about
their guilt. Thousands of poor people have been duped. We want the investigation to go deeper and the case to go to Supreme Court,” CPM leader Md Salim said.

"Lot of people of Bengal have been harassed due to chit fund scams. The guilty should get punishment and people of Bengal should get justice. We don’t believe the CBI inquiry was a fall out of political vendetta," Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president Adhir Ranjan Choudhury said. On the other hand, BJP MP
Babul Supriyo said that Mamata Banerjee was trying to divert attention from her party’s alleged involvement in scams by pointing at others.

Reacting to the stone-pelting, Rajya Sabha MP Roopa Ganguly said that the police was standing as mute spectator to the stone pelting and could have arrested the culprits if they wanted to.

Allegations against Sudip Bandopadhyay range from using his office to safeguard Rose Valley, guarding the firm against investigation agencies, travelling in a car of Rose Valley and praising the firm in public.



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