HIGH DRAMA: CBI And Kolkata Police Face-off After Central Agency Officers Arrive At 'missing' Kolkata CP Rajeev Kumar's Residence

General News

High drama ensued in Kolkata on Sunday evening as a team of CBI officials arrived at the residence of Kolkata CP Rajeev Kumar, in connection with the probe into a Ponzi scam case.

Written By Ankit Prasad | Mumbai | Updated On:

Update at 1:15 PM: BJP National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya speaks to Arnab on Republic Bharat after raising his complaints against the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal govt with the Election Commission

Update at 1:09 PM: The elected CM of UP was not allowed to enter West Bengal. Every worker of BJP is constantly being threatened: Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman.

'Every political party should conduct itself in a way that all the other political parties are free and have the opportunity to function, which the TMC is denying.'

Update at 1:08 PM: "Today high command of BJP met the EC along with Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman & other senior leaders. The events happening in West Bengal with the support of its government are creating ruckus": Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

Update at 1:06 PM: "Today high command of BJP met the EC along with Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman & other senior leaders. The events happening in West Bengal with the support of its government are creating ruckus": Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

Update at 1:05 PM: BJP delegation comprising Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Kailash Vijayvargia and Mukul Roy reaches Election Commission.

Update at 1:04 PM: Additional Director Intelligence Bureau (SIB) West Bengal Manoj Lal, has met West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi at Raj Bhawan

Update at 12:55 PM: 'I have already tweeted': Congress president Rahul Gandhi refuses to speak in the matter. 

Update at 12:50 PM: 'Didi is currently standing as a hurdle in the process of law and the people of West Bengal are watching everything', says Union Minister Smriti Irani.

Update at 12:36 PM: CBI team reaches Governor's House. 

Update at 12:15 PM: BJP delegation meets the Election Commission. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also present.

READ: Past Tweets On Mamata Banerjee Come Back To Haunt Rahul Gandhi, "she's Protecting Those Looting Bengal" Becomes "we Stand Shoulder To Shoulder"

Update at 12:10 PM: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the CBI action in Saradha chit fund case in West Bengal in Lok Sabha: 'The action was taken after SC had ordered an investigation into Saradha chit fund case. The Police Commissioner was summoned many times but he did not appear'.

'West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi has summoned Chief Secretary and Director General of Police and has asked them to take immediate action to resolve the situation.'

Update at 12:05 PM: Farooq Abdullah, National Conference on CBI issue in West Bengal: "Her (Mamata Banerjee) allegation is right. This country is in danger as its becoming dictatorial. They (Central govt) are not masters of this country, people are. "

Update at 12:01 PM: BJP leader and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar addresses a press conference in Delhi:

'There is one dairy and pen drive which contains all information about money trail. CBI has been directed by SC to conduct the investigation. Whatever is happening in Kolkata is one of a kind. Never before was an investigating team taken into custody by police. It is the murder of democracy. We want to ask Mamata Banerjee why is she staging dharna, Who does she want to shield? Police Commissioner or herself?' 

READ: After Sensational CBI Vs Kolkata Police Drama, Action Shifts To Supreme Court; Mamata Banerjee Still On Dharna: LIVE Updates

Update at 11:00 AM (January 04):

Supreme Court lists CBI's plea against Kolkata Police for hearing at 10:30 am on Tuesday.

READ: As the drama in Kolkata continues, here are 10 development in the face-off between CBI and Kolkata Police, even as Mamata Banerjee sits on Dharna

Update at 12:41 AM (January 04): "CBI has got to do its job or not? When CBI does it, it's political vendetta, when it doesn't do it, it's caged parrot. Let them make up their minds," says Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on the ongoing CBI issue in West Bengal.

Update at 12:05 AM (January 04):

Update at 11:51 PM: West Bengal government to send lawyers to Delhi tomorrow i.e Monday to oppose CBI plea.

Update at 11:31 PM: Visuals of CBI officials meeting with law officers in Kolkata.

Update at 11:26 PM: Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted to say that he spoke to Mamata Banerjee and that he stand with her in the matter.

Update at 11:23 PM: I have appealed to all TMC workers to be calm. We are doing protest politically and Gandhism. Democratically, we are protesting. She(Mamata Banerjee) has done a dharna here. I don't know what the governor is doing. We are doing the agitation democratically, peacefully: Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim.

Update at 11:20 PM: TMC tweets: "Organise rallies tomorrow between 2-4 PM in every block of the State. Wear black badges and carry black flags to register your protest."

Update at 11:30 PM: CBI Interim Director M Nageshwar Rao speaks to ANI: Tomorrow the CBI will approach the Supreme Court on the matter as the West Bengal police is not cooperating.

Update at 11:05 PM: Governor orders CRPF to protect all Central government offices.

Update at 10:54 PM: Interim CBI Director M. Nageshwar Rao speaks to Republic TV's Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami.

"The Joint Director has informed me that the officers went and knocked on his(Rajeev Kumar) door and he has a threat of arrest."

We will apprise the Supreme Court as to what has happened. The investigation that we are doing is on directions of the Supreme Court. The plea is about what has happened since investigation we are doing is on the guidance of SC."

"I cannot say anything on letter to Alok Verma. We are investigating on orders of the Supreme Court so that a comprehensive investigation can be conducted."

"It is very important to know the larger conspiracy angle which the Supreme Court directed should be specially looked into."

"He(Rajeev Kumar) was heading the inquiry that collected a lot of evidence. We need to know where it has gone. Where are the call records? Rajeev Kumar needs to be investigated so that he gives all answers. I cannot comment more on the larger conspiracy."

"Custodial interrogation (of Rajeev Kumar) will be a later step. First we need to examine and interrogate him."

"I cannot comment on dharna. The highest court of the country has directed us. It is the duty of every authority and every govt to cooperate."

"This is a part of the investigation. We will apprise the Supreme Court. We cannot file an FIR on our own."

"We request that the state police authorities to cooperate with us so that we are able to comprehensively conduct an investigation."

"There is no pressure. We are simply conducting investigation as per the directions of the Supreme Court. As per Section 165 no search warrant is required."

Update at 10:50 PM: A Bhattacharya, Secy Home Affairs, W Bengal writes to state EC: He has clarified that he (Kolkata Police Commissioner) was absent from meeting on 31 Jan as he had applied for casual leave for personal reasons, he intended no offence or disrespect to Election Commission of India.


Update at 10:47 PM: PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti expresses solidarity with Mamata Banerjee.

Update at 10:42 PM: West Bengal: TMC workers stage a protest in Asansol over the ongoing CBI issue.

Update at 10:40 PM: BSP chief Mayawati and Congress president Rahul Gandhi calls Mamata Banerjee. 

Update at 10:35 PM: Top law minister sources told Republic TV that Centre may move the Supreme Court tonight on Sunday.

Update at 10:30 PM: CBI to move the top court, set to file a seven page petition in the Supreme Court.  

Update at 10:21 PM: TDP leader N.Chandrababu Naidu speaks with all opposition leaders amid the furore in Kolkata. He is slated to reach Kolkata on tomorrow on Monday.

Update at 10:18 PM: Praveen Tripathi, Joint Commissioner Crime, Kolkata Police speaks to ANI: A team of CBI officers came without any papers for what they called a 'secret operation'. When asked what the operation was about, they could not give a satisfactory response.

Update at 10:17 PM: Mamata Banerjee speaks to reporters during at the dharna.

'We respect agencies and court but they have destroyed the institutions. I thank all political parties who have supported us.'

'I am ready to sacrifice my life, but will save the country.'

Update at 10:11 PM: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president MK Stalin tweets to support Mamata Banerjee.

Update at 10:09 PM: U.P chief minister Yogi Adityanath tweets:

"The TMC government is an anti-democracy, anti-government. This government promotes chaos and mess with national security."

Update at 10:05 PM: NC leader Omar Abdullah says he spoke to Mamata Banerjee and extends support to the West Bengal CM in the dharna. 

Update at 10:04 PM: BJP leader Babul Supriyo tweets:

Update at 10:01 PM: Praveen Tripathi, Joint Commissioner Crime, Kolkata Police: A team of CBI officers came without any papers for what they called a 'secret operation'. When asked what the operation was about, they could not give a satisfactory response.

Update at 10 PM: As per sources, the CBI top-brass is meeting with top government law officers and is prepared to move the Supreme Court tonight. The SC registry has been contacted 

Update at 9:50 PM: Chandrababu Naidu tweets: 

Update at 9:37 PM: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has also made a call to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lending her his support

Update at 9:36 PM: They have taken charge of all the evidence, seized all the documents. They have not been cooperating with us in handing over all the documents and a lot of evidence has been destroyed or caused to disappear - Interim CBI chief M Nageshwar Rao to ANI

Update at 9:30 PM: Interim CBI chief M Nageshwar Rao to ANI - There is evidence against him (Rajeev Kumar), he has been instrumental in causing destruction of this evidence and obstructing justice

Update at 9:21 PM: All five CBI officers that were detained by police at Shakespeare Sarani police station in Kolkata have been released.

Update at 9:20 PM: Top CBI sources to Republic TV -  Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar destroyed evidence

Update at 9:19 PM: Spoke to Mamata didi and expressed solidarity. Modi-Shah duo’s action is completely bizarre and anti-democracy

Update at 9:17 PM: I demand President's rule in West Bengal to save democracy and the constitutional rule: Rakesh Sinha, Rajya Sabha MP.

Update at 9:15 PM: With false words and false slogans she can't change the fact that a CBI team that was investigating as per the Supreme Court's instructions has been stopped by her government: Union Minister Prakash Javadekar speaks to Republic Bharat.

'With false words and false slogans she can't change the fact that a CBI team that was investigating as per the Supreme Court's instructions has been stopped by her government.'

'Mamata Banerjee is afraid. That's why she's doing strange things like this.'

Update at 9:12 PM: As per sources, the CBI has sought time with the Governor in the matter.

Update at 9:10 PM: Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) units arrive at CBI regional office at CGO Complex, Kolkata.

Update at 9:06 PM: Mamata Banerjee sits on dharna in protest against BJP. Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar also present at the dharna.

Update at 9:05 PM: Police force of Bidhannagar police leaves from outside the CBI regional office at CGO Complex, Kolkata: ANI.

Update at 9:02 PM: TMC chief Mamata Banerjee addresses the gathering at the dharna.

Update at 9:01 PM: We fully support Mamata Banerjee Ji's dharna against the BJP government. Today, the opposition and the public across the country are united to defeat the BJP in the next election: SP leader Akhilesh Yadav.

Update at 9:00 PM: Visuals from Shakespeare Sarani police station in Kolkata where 5 CBI officers have been kept after being detained: ANI.

Update at 8:59 PM: "I am shocked learning about the CBI rushing to arrest the Police Commissioner and subsequent developments in West Bengal. The country has faced similar kind of unconstitutional methods during the Emergency. Situation in WB is similar to that of the emergency days," tweets JD(S) leader HD Devegowda. 

Update at 8;58 PM: Congress leader Ahmed Patel, SP leader Akhilesh Yadav and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal assert their support to Mamata Banerjee.

Update at 8:52 PM: 'We are contacting our senior law officers about the Kolkata incident. Whatever they suggest will be followed': Interim CBI chief M Nageshwar Rao to ANI.

Update at 8:36 PM: Rishi Kumar Shukla will take over as Director CBI on Monday. He will be arriving in New Delhi tonight

Update at 8:35 PM: TMC MP Derek O'Brien addresses press briefing: 

' After the 'United India' rally the BJP duo Amit Shah and Modi are desperate.'

'They didn't have a arrest warrant. The chit fund is not an issue.'

'Mamata Banerjee will be sitting on a dharma in the next 15 minutes.'

'Corruption will never stick on Mamata didi.'

 'We have spoken to all like minded parties and have told them what has happened to TMC today.'

'All night in Kolkata Mamata Didi will sit on Dharma.'

'We will go to the Election Commission in the evening tomorrow.'

'The fight starts tonight at 9 pm (Mamata Banerjee will sit on dharna at 9 pm).'

Update at 8:25 PM: Sensational development as Kolkata CP Rajeev Kumar, whom the CBI team had come to Kolkata looking for, emerges from his residence and then goes inside again.

Update at 8:19 PM: As per sources, CBI likely to move SC against West Bengal Government. Sources say that CBI to state the reason that West Bengal government is creating hurdles in complying with the Supreme Court order directing probe.

Update at 8:11 PM: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee addresses media outside the residence.

'The Modi government and BJP are harassing us. You have seen how the Prime Minister was speaking yesterday. On 19th, when we were doing a rally, Modi government called CBI officers. Modi government told the CBI to do something here. This is more than an Emergency situation.'

'We arrested the chit-fund mastermind. We returned the money to the common people. We had formed an SIT to arrest criminals that time.'

'Before every election they do it. Mr Doval is implementing everything that Modi asks him to. He is giving instructions to CBI.'

'It's their political vendetta, but they can't fight me politically he knows.'

'Rajeev Kumar is the best one.'

'This is nothing but a coup. We need to finish Modi, else India will not survive.'

'I am with my forces. I am really upset today after this attack on my forces.'

'I will sit in Dharna to save Democracy and Constitution. I am going to metro channel to sit on Dharna. They are trying to break the federal structure. I will sit on dharna, and also hold meetings.'

'Tomorrow is the state budget, but I won't be there. I'll hold the cabinet meeting where I will sit for dharna.'

Update at 8:03 PM: As per Kolkata Police sources, as a protocol the CBI is required to obtain approval from the designated court to arrest or question the Kolkata Police Commissioner. Kolkata Police maintains that the CBI failed to submit any such document and that is why they have been detained.

Update at 7:46 PM: CBI sources say that they suspect documents are being destroyed in the commissioner’s officer and residence. CBI may request the Governor to intervene in the matter and deploy central forces to defuse the situation.

Update at 7:40 PM: As per sources, the CBI will move the Governor in the matter citing constitutonal crisis

Update at 7:27 PM: As per sources, the CBI officers had an arrest warrant

Update at 7:23 PM: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has leapt to politicise the matter:

Modi ji has made a complete mockery of democracy and federal structure. Few years back, Modi ji captured Anti- Corruption Branch of Del govt by sending paramilitary forces. Now, this. Modi-Shah duo is a threat to India and its democracy. We strongly condemn this action.

Update at 7:22 PM: As per sources, a the Mamata government is planning to take action against the CBI officials who had arrived at CP Rajeev Kumar's residence. The Kolkata Police may file a FIR in this regard.

Update at 7:14 PM: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has arrived at the Kolkata CP Rajeev Kumar's residence. Meanwhile, as per CBI sources, its three officers, including the investigating officer, have been arrested.

High drama ensued in Kolkata on Sunday evening as a team of CBI officials arrived at the residence of Kolkata CP Rajeev Kumar, in connection with the probe into a Ponzi scam case.

They agency sleuths were confronted by the Kolkata Police over wheteher they held a warrant for their purposes. This comes on a day that Mamata Banerjee staunchly defended her top cop, dismissing the claim that he had gone missing on being wanted for questioning by India's premier investigative agency.

Rajeev Kumar was not, in fact, at his residence, according to the guards stationed there. As a result, the CBI team made their way to the Shakespeare Sarani Police station, under the jurisdiction of which the Kolkata CP's residence falls.

The CBI has sought to interrogate Rajeev Kumar in connection with the the Saradha scam, which Kumar had investigated before the case was handed over to the Central agency by the Supreme Court. Agency sources claimed that Kumar never cooperated with them during their probe and thus they were forced to arrive at his house. 

In what is essentially a Centre versus state political war - that too at a time when the Mamata Banerjee government has been accused of attempting to block the BJP's attempts to make inroads into Bengal, and has also supported the Andhra Pradesh government blocking the CBI within its territory,  a number of politicians from both sides have issued strong reactions to the development.

Senior AITC leader and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O'Brien accused the BJP of attempting a 'constitutional coup'

Trinamool Congress-turned-BJP leader Mukul Roy sarcastically tweeted at the Kolkata Police, asking if they would help locate their own Commissioner.

Earlier in the day, Mamata Banerjee had dismissed claims that Rajeev Kumar had gone mission, putting forth that he had was one of the best police officers "in the world":

Meanwhile, the Kolkata Police had also put out a strong statement:

READ: SUPER EXCLUSIVE: "Officials Were Pressurised To Not Give Permission For Helicopter Landing," Claims Yogi Adityanath Accusing Mamata Banerjee Of Blocking His West Bengal Rally

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