- Mamata Banerjee handed over awards to police officers
- Centre said Kolkata police chief never responded to summons
- CBI says they want to question police chief in scam cases
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is on an indefinite protest over a major showdown between the CBI and the state police, went into multitasking mode this evening as she handed over awards to police officers.
Standing on a stage adjacent to where she has been on a sit-in protest for most part of the day, the chief minister greeted the officers and handed over the awards - all amid an intense court fight and a bitter war of words with the centre over allegations that Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar may destroy evidence linked to the Rose Valley and Saradha chit fund scams, which he had been investigating.
The scene at the award function did not have anything to suggest it was out of the ordinary despite the circumstances surrounding the event.
"The highest levels of the BJP leadership are doing the worst kind of political vendetta. Not only are political parties their targets, they are misusing power to take control of the police and destroy all institutions. We condemn this," Ms Banerjee tweeted on Sunday.
With senior police officers flanking her, Ms Banerjee in a white saree stood sharp as police officers, including those with the traffic department, in their crisp uniform marched a few steps, saluted the chief minister and took the recognition for excellent performance from her.
Ms Banerjee has put her weight behind the Kolkata police chief after CBI officers came knocking at his door on Sunday night. A major drama unfolded as the CBI officers were instead packed up to a police station, to be released later.
The centre today told the Supreme Court that the Kolkata police commissioner has never responded despite summons for questioning for the last two years as the investigators suspect he may destroy evidence in the scams, in which several members of Ms Banerjee's Trinamool Congress are suspects.
"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 will always remain lies," Ms Banerjee said on Sunday.
The BJP is demanding President's Rule in the state.