‘Abhishek has been sent a notice to appear in the ED office in Delhi on 21 September’.


Kolkata: Even as by-election day for the Bhabanipur seat on 30 September approaches, pressure is mounting on Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, with investigations by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the CBI continuing into the coal and cattle smuggling case, as well as into the alleged post-vote violence. The CBI has already filed four charge-sheets. Also, TMC leaders have been called in for the chit fund scandal probe from next week.

On the first day of her election campaign, Mamata Banerjee accused that the central agencies had been deployed since the announcement of the by-election day. Trinamool Congress All India General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee has been summoned to the ED office in Delhi again in connection with the coal smuggling case. According to an ED source, he has been sent a notice to appear on 21 September.

Abhishek Banerjee was interrogated for about nine hours at the ED office in Delhi on Monday. About 48 hours later, the ED sent him a notice asking him to appear in Delhi again on Friday. But a TMC MP from Diamond Harbor told the ED that he would not be able to attend. The notice was sent to him again on Saturday.

Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday expressed displeasure over the sending of ED notices to Abhishek Banerjee. Targeting the Narendra Modi government and the BJP at a Trinamool Congress workers’ meeting in Bhabanipur on Wednesday, she said, “Abhishek was summoned for nine hours and interrogated for nine hours. Called again.”

The ED and the CBI had launched an investigation into the state’s alleged coal smuggling racket, claiming that Vinay Mishra was the mastermind behind the crime. Investigators claim Vinay Mishra was at one time a young TMC leader and was close to Abhishek Banerjee. ED sources said that the ED investigators wanted to know a number of questions from Abhishek Banerjee about Vinay Mishra on Monday. Vinay Mishra is now a citizen of Vanuatu, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean. The CBI has approached Interpol to get him for questioning.

ED investigators claim that links between the two agencies have been identified in the coal smuggling case. It is claimed that Abhishek Banerjee’s relatives are directors in both the companies. Meanwhile, the CBI on Monday summoned Industries Minister Pertha Chatterjee in a chit fund case. Earlier, he had not gone twice despite summons by the CBI.  The CBI is speeding up its probe into the alleged post-poll violence. Multiple TMC activists have already been arrested.

The CBI has filed a fourth chargesheet in the post-poll violence case in connection with a murder in Nadia’s Kotwali. There are 15 names in the list. Twelve of them are currently in jail custody and the CBI has called for a speedy trial. The CBI has called to take immediate action regarding the other three. Palash Mandal, a BJP activist from Kotwali police station in Nadia, was allegedly killed in the post-poll violence. It is alleged that the miscreants shot and killed Palash Mandal at his house on 14 June. There are still bomb marks on the wall of the house of the deceased.  The CBI has filed the first chargesheet in the death case of Birbhum resident Manoj Jaiswal. Police claimed that he was known as a BJP activist in the area. The chargesheet was submitted on 2 September. Shortly after the results were announced, a businessman was allegedly beaten to death on 14 May in Nalhati, Birbhum. It is learned that Manoj Jaiswal used to trade in stone tools in Nalhati. He was a resident of Nalhati Ward No.2. His mutilated body was recovered from a canal near Madhura village of Nalhati police station. Gradually, the incident took the colour of political violence. An autopsy was conducted at Rampurhat Medical College Hospital.  On 3 September, the CBI filed a chargesheet against four in the Barrackpore court for the murder of BJP activist Joy Prakash Yadav. There is a person named Tuntun Chowdhury in the chargesheet. In addition, there are the names of three more people.