Coal scam case: TMC’s Abhishek Banerjee to appear in front of ED on Monday
- The probe led by the ED is based on an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) over alleged mass coal pilferage in Eastern Coalfields Ltd mines in West Bengal’s Kunustoria and Kajora collieries.
Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee is scheduled to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Delhi on Monday, news agency ANI reported. The lawmaker was summoned along with his wife, Rujira Banerjee, for questioning in connection to a money laundering case linked to an alleged coal scam.
The probe led by the ED is based on an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) over alleged mass coal pilferage in Eastern Coalfields Ltd mines in West Bengal’s Kunustoria and Kajora collieries.
Earlier this year, the ED told a Delhi court that the Lok Sabha MP from Diamond Harbour, who is also chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew, allegedly received funds obtained from the illegal mining. The agency also said that ahead of the Bengal elections, earlier this year, illegal coal mining was 'flourishing in the state under the “patronage” of the political party in power’, according to a report by HT.
The ED officials say that proceeds of the scam, which allegedly amounted to ₹1,352 crore, was generated and collected by Majhi in two years in connivance with police officers and also were sent to political leaders in West Bengal. It claims the money was then laundered in India and abroad.
Rujira Banerjee, Abhishek Banerjee’s wife, did not appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in New Delhi on Wednesday citing the Covid-19 pandemic as a reason for her absence. She, however, asked the ED officials to visit her residence in Kolkata and assured of ‘every cooperation.’
The Trinamool Congress claims that investigating agencies are ‘harassing’ its leaders at the behest of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is at the helm in the Centre. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee reacted sharply to the summons and said that the Centre was ‘letting loose central agencies’ on the MPs of her party. She called the move an ‘attempt to bulldoze the federal structure’ and snatch away the rights of the states while speaking to reporters last week.