In a span of 100 days, the CBI's former interim director M Nageswara Rao has had to deny any links between his family and a private company in West Bengal's capital that the Kolkata Police raided on Friday.
The raids and Mr Rao's statement came on the eve of the questioning by the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI of Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, who is at the epicentre of political war between Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The private company that was raided on Friday is Angela Mercantile Private Limited or AMPL. It was earlier registered at CA 39 Salt Lake, a satellite township, home of one Praveen Agarwal who Mr Rao says is an "old friend".
AMPL is now registered at 5 Clive Row in the city's business district Dalhousie.
Both premises were raided after a complaint was filed against the AMPL at Bowbazar police station, said police sources.
"I deny the linkage of this firm with my family members as reported by some media outlets today," Mr Rao said in his statement on Friday.
"In light of certain reporting appearing in some media outlets...linking my family members with a company on which Kolkata Police has carried out raids, I want to state that I had already clarified regarding his issue through a signed press statement on 30 October 2018," he said.
All details of his property, he said, are available on the Home Ministry's website, he added.
Mr Rao is an Odisha cadre officer. He was posted in West Bengal in 2008-09 as Inspector General of Police of CRPF in West Midnapore district at the height of Maoist activity in the Lalgarh area.
In October, Mr Nageswara Rao had confirmed that:
- In 2010, his wife had taken a loan of Rs 25 lakh from AMPL
- AMPL is owned by 'long-time family friend' Praveen Agarwal
- The money was used to buy property at Guntur
- In 2011, Mrs Rao sold ancestral land for Rs 58.62 lakh
- She transferred the whole amount to AMPL
- In 2014, AMPL returned money to her, after deducting her loan amount and adding interest
- The amount given to Mrs Rao was Rs 41 lakh
According to sources, AMPL is officially a stock broking company. But it is suspected to be one of Kolkata's many "shell companies" used allegedly for money laundering. The nature of the company's business is being probed.
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