After 55-minute long drama outside his residence on Wednesday and 27 hours of being untracable, former finance minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI. In an unprecedented move, he arrived at the AICC head office for a press conference at around 08:20 hours on Wednesday, and within minutes returned to his Jor Bagh residence. The CBI then followed him to his residence and after much drama arrested him.
However, such unprecedented visuals reminded of events of Opposition face-off with the CBI from the past. In action-packed drama with the CBi at his doorsteps.
Twenty-two years ago, soon after Lalu Prasad Yadav stepped down as Bihar CM and installed his wife Rabri Devi to the position, the CBI wanted to arrest him in the fodder scam case in which he was the main accused. In what may be called rarest of rare moment, the CBI had appealed to the Indian Army to help it arrest the former Bihar chief minister.
The CBI probe in the fodder scam was being led by CBI Joint Director UN Biswas. However, the state administration turned down an arrest warrent by the CBI. Earlier, the CBI sought help from BP Verma, the then the Bihar chief secretary but Verma's office responded saying he was not available. The CBI then wrote to the army.
After receiving the CBI's request, the officer-in-charge of the Danapur cantonment forwarded the request to his seniors. The Army reportedly replied to the CBI that it will "come to the aid of the civil administration only at the request of the notified civil authorities". When no such help was provided by the army, the CBI then approached CBI court, which issued a show-cause notice to the Bihar DGP asking why the police did not cooperate with the agency.
Earlier in Febraury this year, there was an unprecedented face-off in West Bengal between Mamata Banerjee and the CBI. The Kolkata Police had issued a strong statement dismissing claims that its commissioner of police Rajeev Kumar had gone 'missing' in light of the CBI seeking to probe him in connection with the Saradha scam, which Kumar had investigated as the head of the SIT till the Supreme Court handed the case to the CBI. Alongside the Kolkata Police, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also issued a statement backing Rajeev Kumar in the strongest possible terms, calling him the "best in the world."
The CBI team reached the residence of Rajeev Kumar in the evening when they were stopped from entering by the Kolkata police security which inquired whether they had a warrant. At this point, a part of the team headed to the Shakespeare Sarani Police station, which has jurisdiction over the area of the Kolkata CP's residence, even as more police personnel arrived.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made her way to the epicentre of the flashpoint, just as the CBI team was detained and taken to the Shakespeare Sarani Police station. Upon her arrival, a quick meeting was held at Rajeev Kumar's residence, even as a number of political leaders began to wade into the burgeoning controversy, with the Opposition expressing its support for Mamata Banerjee. Senior Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien called it an attempt at a 'constitutional coup'.
Mamata Banerjee had addressed the media outside Rajeev Kumar's residence, even as top CBI sources said to Republic TV that the officers did have a warrant and also revealed that they suspected that documents were being destroyed in the commissioner's office and residence. At this point, as per sources, the CBI was considering approaching the Governor of the state. In her address, Mamata Banerjee had launched a scathing attack at the Modi government, alleging that this was being done with the elections in mind. She denied that there was any wrongdoing by her government in the Saradha scam, putting forth that it was her government that had initiated a probe in the matter and had ensured that money bwas returned to the people who had been scammed. She then announced that she would be sitting on a Dharna immediately against the events of the night, but an even bigger reveal was Rajeev Kumar then appearing from his residence and then promptly returning inside.