Abhishek Banerjee’s wife questioned in coal pilferage case

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The Trinamool Congress termed the questioning a “political witch-hunt” at the behest of the BJP

The Trinamool Congress termed the questioning a “political witch-hunt” at the behest of the BJP

The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday questioned Rujira Banerjee, wife of Trinamool Congress general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, in an investigation linked to the coal pilferage case.

Ms. Banerjee, with her young son in her arms, arrived at the ED office at about 11 a.m. and left after six hours at about 5.20 p.m.

The coal pilferage scam involves illegal mining at leasehold mines of Eastern Coalfields’ in Kunustoria and Kajora areas near Asansol in West Bengal. The Trinamool Congress termed the questioning a “political witch-hunt” at the behest of the BJP.

Also with regard to the case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is probing alleged transactions in foreign countries. Investigators say the scam could be of the tune of ₹1,300 crore. 

Earlier this month on June 14, CBI officials quizzed Ms. Rujira Banerjee in connection with the coal pilferage scam. A CBI team had visited Ms. Banerjee’s residence at Harish Mukherjee Street and questioned her. The CBI had interrogated her in February last year ahead of the Assembly elections in West Bengal.  Agency officials said they were looking at a few transactions made in a certain bank account in Bangkok.

Trinamool Congress state general secretary and spokesperson Kunal Ghosh alleged that the BJP was trying cheap tactics to intimidate the party. A section of Trinamool leaders linked the probe to the by-polls for four Assembly seats in Tripura, held on Thursday. On June 14, when the CBI team had visited Ms. Banerjee’s residence, Abhishek Banerjee had been in Tripura campaigning for the by-polls.

The Trinamool Congress leadership said that there would be protests if the agencies continued to harass Abhishek Banerjee and his wife. “The way Abhishek Banerjee and his wife are being harassed without any reason is unacceptable. This has to stop, or we won’t sit idle. We will protest against it,” Trinamool Congress MP Santanu Sen said.

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