As the search for former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar intensifies, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday has reportedly quizzed his wife over his disappearance and his alleged involvement in the Saradha Chit fund scam. The CBI on Friday has also raided various locations including Rajeev Kumar's residence in a bid to find him. As per inputs, Rajeev Kumar's wife has been questioned at their residence in Kolkata reportedly by a seven-member CBI team. The CBI team has also searched the Bishnupur Ibiza resort, where Rajeev Kumar was reportedly hiding.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Alipore Court in Kolkata denied the CBI plea to obtain a non-bailable arrest warrant against the former Kolkata Police Commissioner. The court said that the central agency has "full right to arrest" Kumar and can move court if they are "manhandled". CBI had filed their plea before the Alipore Court on grounds of Rajeev Kumar being "non-cooperative and evasive". However, Rajeev Kumar's lawyer argued that his client is available for questioning after September 25 when he returns from his leave.
Sources reported on Thursday that raids have been conducted at Rajeev Kumar's official residence, the IPS Mess, the Taj Gateway Hotel and the Taj Vivanta Hotel in Kolkata. Earlier in the day, the CBI had written to the West Bengal Director General of Police (DGP) seeking information about Kumar. Two teams were constituted by the CBI to search Rajeev Kumar. The CBI has issued summons to the former top cop after Calcutta High Court withdrew its interim order of protection from arrest. However, he responded that he is on leave and needs a one-month time to appear before the CBI as his wife is ill.
The Kolkata Police Commissioner was heading the SIT formed by WB Government to probe the Saradha Chit fund case previously. When the case was handed over to the CBI, the agency stated that Kumar was being allegedly evasive about missing pieces of evidence in relation to the probe and was allegedly trying to shield few politicians. Following this charge, in February 2019, a team of CBI officials arrived at Rajeev Kumar's residence to arrest him. While attempting to arrest the former top cop, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee staged a dharna opposing the arrest of the Police Commissioner by the CBI, citing a violation of the Constitution.
Saradha Chit fund scam is related to a Ponzi scheme set up by Saradha Group led by businessman Sudipto Sen in the early 2000s. A few years later, a large sum of money was raised by the Saradha group. In 2009, the fraudulent ways by which the company raised money started exploding. With the SEBI's actions, the scheme collapsed by 2013 and the owner fled writing a letter that accused several politicians of making poor investments. Many Trinamool MPs are speculated to be a part of the scam.