CBI grills Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar for nearly 8 hours; agency to question him again on Sunday

File photo: Kolkata’s ex-police chief Rajeev Kumar with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Photograph:( IANS )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 09, 2019, 08.46 PM (IST) Pooja Mehta

Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar was grilled for almost eight hours by CBI sleuths on Saturday at the CBI’s Shillong unit in connection with the Rose Valley and the Saradha chit fund scams.

Also read: Centre vs Bengal: CBI team shows up at Kolkata Police chief's home, accuses him of obstructing justice

Sources in the CBI reveal that he has been asked to appear before the agency again for questioning tomorrow to get more details on the investigation that was carried out by the Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by Kumar.

Kumar was questioned by a special team of 10 officers constituted by the CBI. Sources in the agency reveal that a 22-page questionnaire was prepared by the agency to question him. In line with the Supreme Court order, Kumar was asked to appear before the CBI at Shillong – a mutually accepted location by both Kumar and the CBI.

Ex-TMC MP Kunal Ghosh will also be questioned by the CBI officers in Shillong tomorrow in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam. "Ghosh has, on several occasions, claimed that Kumar had tried to influence the investigation. We may make Ghosh and Kumar sit face to face for questioning tomorrow," said a CBI officer on the condition of anonymity. 

Kolkata Police commissioner arrived in the capital city of Meghalaya on Friday along with his lawyer Biswajit Deb and two other IPS officers – deputy commissioner of Kolkata Police (Special Task Force) Murlidhar Sharma and Additional and Joint Commissioner of Kolkata Police (HQ) Jawed Shamim.

He stayed at a heritage hotel in Shillong, reached Shillong CBI located at Oakland at 11 am and left the office at around 7.15 pm.

On the other hand, a team of CBI officials started arriving in Shillong from Friday. A team led by a DIG rank officer, Vivek Dutt, additional SP and Deputy SP rank officers questioned Kumar.

The CBI had issued an order dated February 6, 2019, asking 10 officers to join the Kolkata unit with an immediate effect and to be prepared to stay with the team till February 20, 2019.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Kumar to appear before the CBI in Shillong in connection with the two scams. However, the court had also said that the CBI cannot arrest Kumar.

The CBI had alleged in the apex court that Kumar had tried to tamper the evidence while investigating the case when he was heading the SIT.

A political slugfest began after CBI officers had reached Kumar’s residence in Kolkata on Sunday. The CBI had claimed that they were prevented from meeting the commissioner and were forcibly taken to the Shakespeare Sarani police station by Kolkata Police and were later detained. 

However, Kolkata Police had ruled out the allegations of detaining CBI officers. "This is unprecedented. We have never faced a situation of this sort before. We were prevented from doing our job," CBI DSP Tathagata Vardhan had said on Sunday outside the police station. 

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had immediately reached Kumar’s residence and announced that she will stage a ‘Satyagraha’ on the metro channel. The sit-in was staged for almost 40 hours before she finally decided to call it off after Supreme Court passed an order preventing the CBI from arresting Kumar.