West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee continues her 'Save the Constitution' dharna at Metro Channel, Kolkata. Photo/ANI
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee continues her 'Save the Constitution' dharna at Metro Channel, Kolkata. Photo/ANI

CBI-Kolkata Police showdown: Mamata continues 'Save the Constitution' dharna past midnight

ANI | Updated: Feb 04, 2019 02:56 IST

Kolkata (West Bengal), [India], Feb 4 (ANI): Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of plotting a coup, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee along with Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar continue to sit on 'Save the Constitution' dharna even after midnight here at Metro Channel.
A full-blown face-off between West Bengal's Mamata Banerjee government and the Centre erupted as a CBI team moved to arrest Kumar, which in turn were unceremoniously denied entry to Kolkata Police chief's residence and then detained.
Escalating her confrontation with the Centre, Banerjee started a sit-in on Sunday night to protest, in what her Trinamool Congress party called a "coup" by the Modi government. 
Extending support to Mamata, her party workers also staged a 'rail roko protest' in Rishra and Asansol over the ongoing issue. The TMC workers have also burnt an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Asansol. 
CBI interim director M Nageshwar Rao has said that the CBI will approach the Supreme Court on Monday accusing the Bengal government of impeding the investigation of a court-ordered probe into the chit fund scams. The CBI officials are also planning to meet state Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, however, the investigative agency has sought some time from him to discuss the matter. 
While speaking to ANI, Rao alleged that the state Police Commissioner had hampered evidence in the chit fund scam and the CBI has evidence to prove the same.
"We are contacting our senior law officers about the Kolkata incident. Whatever they suggest will be followed. We are investigating these chit fund cases as per the directions of the Supreme Court. A SIT has been constituted by the West Bengal government prior to Supreme Court's direction under the chairmanship of Rajeev Kumar, who is currently the Kolkata police commissioner," he told ANI.
"They have taken charge of all the evidence, seized all the documents. They have not been cooperating with us in handing over all the documents and a lot of evidence has been destroyed or caused to disappear," Rao added.
All the five CBI officers who were detained by police at Shakespeare Sarani police station in Kolkata have been released.
Several Opposition leaders including Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav, National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagan president MK Stalin came together to support Mamata Banerjee
Congress president Rahul Gandhi also extend his support to TMC supremo stating that what is happening in Bengal is a part of the unrelenting attack on India’s institutions by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP. 
"I spoke with Mamata Di tonight and told her we stand shoulder to shoulder with her. The happenings in Bengal are a part of the unrelenting attack on India’s institutions by Mr Modi & the BJP. The entire opposition will stand together & defeat these fascist forces." the Congress chief wrote on his Twitter handle. 
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray took to his Twitter handle and applauded Mamata for her 'save democracy' stand.  
"We applaud and support the stand taken by Mamta Banerjee against the autocracy and tyranny of the Central government. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena firmly stands behind her and the fight against this tyranny, " he wrote. 
Rajeev Kumar, a 1989-batch IPS officer of West Bengal cadre was heading a SIT on the Saradha and Rose Valley scams. The CBI wanted the top officer to hand over the seizure list made during his probe, sources said.
Reportedly, the top cop was to be questioned regarding missing documents and files but he is not responding to notices to appear before the agency.
Rajeev Kumar, according to media reports, became apprehensive of his arrest after Bengali film producer Shrikant Mohita was taken into custody. (ANI)