Amid the ongoing political storm of 'CBI vs Mamata Banerjee' that has struck the city of Kolkata, Republic TV's Shawan Sen has exposed the truth behind one of India's biggest scams-- Saradha Scam. In a super exclusive and explosive sting operation on former TMC MP Kunal Ghosh, Republic Bharat shed light on the alleged destruction of evidence in the chit fund scam by Kolkata police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar. The former TMC MP, who was interrogated for his alleged involvement in the scam has revealed how Mamata Banerjee has cluttered the matter bringing back the question on Kolkata police's role. Formal Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh, who is now suspended, had headed Saradha's media division.
In a first clip, former TMC MP Kunal Ghosh can be heard talking about how Rajev Kumar had 'a certain style' by which he 'destroyed the evidence'.
Kunal: This is not it.
Shawan Sen: You mean the destruction of evidence?
Kunal: He does it in a certain style. What he does is...whoever is in power..he is very skilled in all this...he knows how to tap phone ...how to track a person..how to trap a person..he is a master of this things..but does this for whoever is in power..whoever is the Chief Minister... So during Buddhababu's (Buddhadeb Bhattacharya former Left front CM of Bengal CM), he did all this against others..Arnab Ghosh used to say Rajiv Kumar has to be arrested because he is tapping my phone....and now he claims to be a paragon of virtue... He does all these things. Tomorrow if somebody else comes to power he will walk to their side. He does this to serve his own interests. His business matters and stuff like that.
He further revealed the modus operandi of how Rajeev Kumar distorted evidence related to the Saradha scam.
Kunal: He distorted them. He distorted the Saradha evidence.
Shawan Sen: What is the main content? What did he distort?
Kunal: What was found is that all the documents that were distorted were not getting reflected. Suppose I submit some documents and suppose there is a big name in it..he won't show it in any list. He won't take action. But he will call the person and interrogate the person.
In a super exclusive expose, Republic Bharat has accessed a set of letters which stated that the CVC had urged the CBI to take necessary action against the relevant Kolkata Police officials. Confirming the same, he said:
Kunal: Prime Minister's office and Home Minister's office, both referred the matter to the CVC. I did not send anything to the CVC.
Shawan: The Prime Minister's Office and Home Minister's Office?
Kunal: Yes. I sent to the Prime Minister's Office and Home Minister's Office. I got a reply that they had received my complaint and sent it to to the CVC's office. I did not send to CVC. I didn't know anything about the CVC. Then CVC informed that they have sent the matter to CBI for investigation. CBI later told me that they had found my complaint very useful.
Shawan: So in your experience, after all these incidents, how has Rajeev Kumar's role been in the suppression of evidence?
Kunal: Full role. After Sudipto went underground, the way the ruling party (TMC) took over Sudipto's (Sarada chit fund boss) entire property, his media property, this was done with Rajeev Kumar as a front.
Shawan: Has there been any time when he has directly spoken to you, at any point or through Arnab Ghosh?
Kunal: I have spoken to Arnab Ghosh many times. Rajeev knew he was being unfair to me, so he never spoke to me directly.
Shawan: what did you speak about?
Kunal: Arnab used to keep saying, these are matters and decisions taken by 'powerful people above'. There is no count of the number of times he mentioned the 'one above'
Shawan: In what sense was he, Arnab Ghosh, pressurising you?
Kunal: umm. Don't mention these names. Please say this, please don't say that.
Shawan: Meaning? not take names of Trinamool leaders?
Kunal: Absolutely yes. But it doesn't mean anything. I had already filed a police diary in Arnab's name, given those names to CVC.
Shawan: When you got arrested did you share this with CBI?
Kunal: On the day I got arrested...
Shawan: that a senior ips officer like arnab ghosh was asking you to not take names?
Kunal: I have given a full statement to them. arnab was called by them, but Arnab went to court and took shelter. arnab and a few others with him. I have given an offer. i have asked for a joint session of the interrogation.
Shawan: You have given a statement against Arnab?
Kunal: Arnab and some others in his team.
Shawan: So that was his (Arnab's) constant stand?
Kunal: (Nods emphatically) Don't say this, don't say that, tell me where the money went, etc. I told him then that you know better than me where the money went. finance and accounts were not my departments..he used to say, please don't take those names, please don't take party's names. Please don't take that person's names, please don't give those documents. and I would say, why are you saying? I am taking names, I am only giving my statement. I have sent all these to the investigators, CBI, the CBI had called me, I have given my full statement to them.
Shawan: Why is the Chief Minister getting into this panic mode?
Kunal: Because she is scared that she will be charge-sheeted. If the CBI stays neutral…and no adjustments are reached between Modi and Mamata…then she will be chargesheted.
Shawan: So when you were asked not to take any leader’s name by Arnab was there anybody in particular he mentioned?
Kunal: The Chief-minister and Mukul Roy especially. Now Mukulda’s name is not being mentioned because he is in BJP. But at that time it was chief minister and Mukul who had done all this together. Now Mukul says I had done it for her etc..I accept that also can't be ignored.
What is Saradha Scam?
The Saradha scam was a major financial fraud which lured lakhs of investors to deposit money in its schemes with glossy brochures and the promise of abnormally high returns. An official estimate says Saradha had mopped up about Rs. 1200 crore through its chit funds, but some calculations put that the figure closer to Rs. 4000 crore. The company collapsed in April 2013.
The opposition had alleged that Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress had close links with Sudipta Sen, the Chairman of the chit fund group. The perceived closeness allegedly also helped it get investors and agents on board. They point out that Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh headed Saradha's media division.
Meanwhile, even as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee continues her dharna in Kolkata, CBI has filed a contempt plea in the Supreme Court against Chief Secretary of West Bengal, Director General of Police and Police Commissioner for wilful and deliberate violation of apex court orders.
The plea of CBI seeking initiation of contempt of court proceedings against West Bengal Chief Secretary Malay Kumar De, DGP of West Bengal Virendra and Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar said that CBI has been conducting investigation as per the apex court’s order and CBI has found substantial evidence against Kolkata Police Commissioner, for which it sent summons to him.
The plea says summons were not responded to properly by the Police Commissioner and he was found to be destroying evidence pertaining to the case. The non-cooperation of Rajeev Kumar was brought to the notice of DGP West Bengal, however, neither the DGP nor Police Commissioner cooperated.
Moreover, a confidential report prepared by West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi was also submitted before Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Monday.
Earlier on Saturday night, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee launched a dharna in the heart of Kolkata to protest the move of the CBI to question Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar as she accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah of plotting a ‘coup’. She said her struggle will continue till “the situation is resolved.” Her comments came as she visited the police commissioner’s residence after a CBI team which showed up to quiz the Kolkata Police chief was detained by the local police.