- A CBI team had come to question Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar
- He had allegedly ignored summons over two Ponzi schemes
- State government not cooperating, will approach top court: CBI
As drama continues in West Bengal over an unexpected visit of the CBI officers to Kolkata, the central agency dragged the state government to the Supreme Court today. On Sunday, the agency's interim boss, M Nageswara Rao, had said that the West Bengal police are not cooperating, therefore, "we will approach the Supreme Court on Monday".
"Did we commit any crime?" Mr Rao said.
The high-profile agency will inform the Supreme Court about the non-cooperation of the Bengal government and its police, sources said. The CBI has accused the West Bengal government of impeding investigation of a Supreme Court-ordered probe into two Ponzi schemes and is expected to demand action against the state government and its police.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is sitting on dharna following a fierce attack on the centre, accusing it of orchestrating a CBI team's visit to the Kolkata top cop's home. The Kolkata police refused to let the CBI officers enter and temporarily detained them at a police station.
"The CBI will tell the top court that detention and harassment of its officers carrying out the probe is indicative of the state government's scant regard to the rule of law," sources said.
The CBI team had come to question Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar after he allegedly ignored summons from the agency on two Ponzi schemes. After media reports that Mr Kumar was "absconding" and he was facing arrest by the central bureau of investigation, the Kolkata police said they will take action over the "defamation" by media houses.
Rajeev Kumar -- who headed a Special Investigation Team probing the Saradha and Rose Valley Ponzi scams that surfaced in 2013 -- was asked to help with the investigation after several key documents allegedly went missing. Over the last two years he had received several summons for questioning.
"Our notices have gone on deaf years. The state police is not cooperating, they are trying to harass the CBI officials by various means. This was brought to the notice of the Supreme Court, which advised the state authority to cooperate. There is evidence against him (Rajeev Kumar), he has been instrumental in causing destruction of evidence and obstructing justice," Mr Rao told news agency ANI.
An angry Mamata Banerjee held a press meet in the evening at Rajeev Kumar's home where she lamented over the "complete constitutional breakdown". She lashed out at the centre for misusing the central agencies and demanded to know how could they come to a police commissioner's home "without a warrant".
But the CBI's Joint Director Pankaj Srivastava said they did not need any order or warrant as it was a top court-ordered investigation.
The opposition parties have conveyed to Mamata Banerjee that they are with her in this fight against the centre.
"They (the BJP) cannot fight us politically. That's why they are resorting to all this... Ajit Doval is doing whatever PM wants him to do, he is the one giving all the instructions to the CBI," Ms Banerjee said, refering to the National Security Advisor.
The Trinamool chief claimed that the BJP is "targeting us" for organising a rally of anti-BJP parties.
Ms Banerjee had hosted a grand rally of over 20 opposition parties last month where top leaders spoke about the need to set aside their differences to form a united opposition that can fight the BJP in the upcoming national election.