Kolkata: The CBI began questioning the Kolkata Police chief on Saturday morning at highly secured agency's office here in connection with chit fund scam cases. Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, his counsel Biswajit Deb and senior IPS officers Javed Shamim and Murlidhar Sharma arrived at the probe agency's office around 11 am, following which the interrogation began.
Around 10.45 am, amid heavy security, the officer's counsel and two IPS officers submitted a letter, mentioning that they also want to be present during the examination of Rajeev Kumar. They claimed that the presence of all the officers was necessary as they all were a part of the investigation and "linked" to the probe. However, CBI turned down their request.
Kumar is being interrogated at the highly secured CBI office at Oakland area in the Meghalaya capital where three senior CBI sleuths from Delhi reached on Friday. The campus has been turned into a fortress. No one is allowed to venture close to the office.
The counsel and the officials, who accompanied Kumar to Shillong from Kolkata, were asked to leave the CBI office within 30 minutes.
Sources said that Rajeev Kumar is ready with his defence as he will try to highlight that there was no substantiated evidence to prove that he tried to destroy the pieces of evidence to shield the accused.
"In 2018, Call Data Records (CDR) were handed over the CBI and that time Kumar was not the commissioner of Bidhannagar. If they are alleging that he was reluctant to handover CDR to CBI, then why they waited for months. They could have easily got it from the service providers. On what basis CBI is alleging that the CDR (if at all) was damaged by Rajeev Kumar. It may be possible that they (CBI) tampered the CDR. We will contest all these things in the Supreme Court," a senior Kolkata police officer said. He further said, “There is an allegation against Rajeev Kumar that he has suppressed the fact that a case was registered by Durgapur police on October 4, 2013, against Rose Valley. The commissioner of Asansol police has already replied about it and above all what Kumar has to do with this case. Why is CBI asking details of this case from him (despite the matter been addressed by CP Asansol). Above all, Kumar is not the head of SIT. The head of the SIT was ADG CID. They could have asked ADG CID about these details. It was ADG CID who would call data from all units and collate and give it to CBI. Why Rajeev Kumar is selectively targeted?"
The CBI had alleged in the Supreme Court that Kumar, who was leading the SIT probe into Saradha chit fund scam, tampered with the electronic evidence and handed over documents to the agency, some of which were "doctored".
The Supreme Court on Tuesday had directed the Kolkata Police chief to appear before the CBI and "faithfully" cooperate in the investigation of cases arising out of the Saradha chit fund scam while making it clear that he will not be arrested.
The apex court directed him to appear before the investigating agency at a neutral place in Shillong "to avoid all unnecessary controversy". CBI officials had gone to Kumar's residence in Kolkata to question him on January 3 but their attempt was thwarted by the police, following which, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee staged a three-day dharna.
A day earlier, Kolkata police raided two properties of a company it said was linked to Nageswara Rao, the former interim director of CBI. The police action is likely to be perceived as a tit-for-tat response for the attempted search at the house of city police chief Rajeev Kumar this past Sunday, as that was ordered when Rao was still at the helm of the investigative agency.