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Thursday 20 February 2020

CBI wants statements that suit it, says accused former cop

Agency denies charge; IRCTC officials questioned; another accused former cop in Assam ends his life.

Saradha series logoNew Delhi — Saradha group financial scandal accused former director general of police, West Bengal, Rajat Majumdar has accused the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of trying to extract statements that suit the agency’s case.

In the Alipore court today, Majumdar also accused the CBI of arresting him in a state of unconsciousness. Though he was accompanied by his lawyer, Majumdar himself made some arguments at the court.

The CBI has denied Majumdar’s charge. The investigating agency’s counsel said the former police officer was not cooperating with them.

At the end of today’s hearing, the court accepted the CBI’s request to keep Majumdar in its custody for three more days.

Elsewhere, the CBI summoned two officials of the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC). They were questioned about the government company’s deal with Saradha Tours and Travels Pvt Ltd. The opposition parties in West Bengal have been questioning the deal for a while now, as the Union Railways Ministry was with the Trinamool Congress at the time when the Saradha scandal broke out.

When the scam surfaced, IRCTC had clarified it had never had a direct deal with Saradha’s travel company, which was merely one of its sales agents. However, this unit of the Saradha group used to advertise themselves as a partner of IRCTC before the scandal broke out. Between December 2010 and January 2012, it arranged for 3 tours of IRCTC.

Saradha Tours and Travels is also accused of collecting money from the people by cashing in on the name of IRCTC.

Former Assam DGP, accused in Saradha scam, commits suicide

DGP-Shankar-BaruahFormer Assam Director General of Police Shankar Barua, quizzed recently by CBI in connection with Saradha scam, allegedly shot himself dead at his residence today.

Guwahati Senior Superintendent of Police AP Tiwari said Barua was rushed to a local nursing home at around 12 noon and was declared dead there.

“Barua is no more. We are investigating. We cannot say anything now. Only after the investigation we can talk about details,” Tiwari said.

Barua’s body has been sent for post-marten. He was admitted to another hospital last week after he complained of heart problems and was released from there this morning.

“He came home and within half an hour he went to the terrace and shot himself with a pistol. He was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital by family members,” a family member said.

Barua’s name got linked with the scam after an employee of Saradha’s media house here alleged last year that he had provided ‘protection’ to them in Assam which was arranged by popular Assamese singer and filmmaker Sadananda Gogoi on behalf of the group.

Gogoi was taken to Kolkata by CBI for further questioning and was subsequently arrested on 12 September.

CBI had conducted raids on 12 premises on August 28 in connection with the multi crore rupees Ponzi scheme scam. The raids were carried out at the residences of two former Assam ministers, including that of former health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Barua and Gogoi, among others.

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