New Delhi. Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee arrived at the Enforcement Directorate office on Monday morning. Abhishek Banerjee said that I was summoned by the investigating agency, so I have come and will fully cooperate with the Enforcement Directorate. In fact, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had summoned Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and MP Abhishek Banerjee and his wife for questioning in a money laundering case related to the alleged coal scam in West Bengal. However, Abhishek Banerjee’s wife Rujira on Wednesday expressed inability to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in New Delhi in connection with the coal theft scandal, citing the existing cowardly situation. In addition, he requested the agency officials to come to his Kolkata home to search.
Abhishek Banerjee is an MP from Diamond Harbor constituency.
On the other hand, outraged by the ED’s summons, Mamata accused the Narendra Modi-led government of “sabotaging the federal structure” of the country and trying to usurp the rights of the states. Abhishek Banerjee represents the Diamond Harbor seat in the Lok Sabha and is also the National General Secretary of the Trinamool Congress (TMC). ED officials said Abhishek has been summoned to appear before the investigating officer in Delhi in September, and his wife Rujira has been issued a similar summons under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on September 1. The CBI had earlier questioned Rujira over the incident.
Learn more about the case
A lawyer associated with Abhishek in the case and several Indian Police Service (IPS) officials have also been summoned to appear on different dates next month, officials said. The case was registered under the criminal section of the EDML after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR in November, 2020. The CBI FIR alleges theft of multi-crore coal related to the mines of Eastern Coalfield Limited in Asansol, Kunustoria and Kazora areas.
The main suspect in the case is Anup Majhi alias Lala. Earlier, the ED had claimed that Abhishek Banerjee was the beneficiary of the money from the illicit business, though he denied all the allegations. After summoning her nephew Abhishek for questioning in the coal scandal case, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee criticized the central government. He claimed that the coal mafia was colluding with some ministers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The Trinamool Congress chief proposed to convene a meeting of all the chief ministers to fight against “central authoritarianism”.
Our fight will continue: Mamata
“The BJP and the central government cannot fight us politically. The party (BJP) lost the assembly elections and now they are using the central agency against our leaders like Abhishek Banerjee and others, but I tell them, they can intimidate us,” Banerjee said. No. We will continue our fight against them.
The Enforcement Directorate has arrested at least two people in a money laundering case. One of them is Bikash Mishra, brother of TMC youth wing leader Binoy Mishra. It is said that Binoy Mishra left the country a few days ago and probably also gave up his Indian citizenship. The second person arrested by the ED in the case earlier this year is Ashok Kumar Mishra, a former in-charge inspector of Bankura police station.
The ED had earlier claimed that the Mishra brothers received Rs 730 crore from some influential people and for themselves, in this case an estimated Rs 1,352 crore.
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