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CBI officer heading Narada probe transferred two days after special director’s visit to Kolkata

CBI special director Rakesh Asthana expressed displeasure over the slow progress in some sensitive cases related to West Bengal and set fresh guidelines.

kolkata Updated: Jun 23, 2018 15:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
CBI,Narada Scam,Saradha Scam
DIG Abhay Singh, who was heading the anti-corruption branch in Kolkata, was transferred to Ranchi. (HT File Photo)

Barely two days after CBI special director Rakesh Asthana expressed displeasure over the slow progress in some sensitive cases related to West Bengal, the deputy inspector general heading the anti-corruption branch (ACB) of the agency’s Kolkata zone has been transferred to Jharkhand, sources familiar with the development said.

DIG Abhay Singh who was heading the ACB was transferred to Ranchi, an ACB officer in Kolkata said on Friday on condition of anonymity. Singh, could not be reached for his comments.

Read: CBI special director orders focus on Narada sting probe, asks for regular report

Asthana was on a two-day visit to Kolkata to take stock of the progress in some of the high-profile cases involving chit funds as well as the Narada sting operation case. CBI officers who did not want to be named said Asthana was not happy with the pace and method of investigation and set fresh guidelines.

The CBI is currently handling three high- profile cases in West Bengal. These are the Narada sting operation, Saradha chit fund scam and the Rose Valley ponzi scam.

The Narada sting videos, incidentally, had caught a host of Trinamool Congress leaders allegedly accepting cash on camera from a man purportedly representing a firm.

Read: CBI interrogates West Bengal minister Firhad Hakim in Narada sting operation case

A senior CBI officer in Kolkata, who did not want to be named, said the report on progress in high-profile cases that Asthana submitted to CBI director Alok Verma possibly did not paint a rosy picture. “We were, however, informed by the authorities that Singh’s transfer was routine,” he said.

In the Narada sting videos, a number of Trinamool MPs, ministers, the Kolkata mayor and an IPS officer were seen accepting cash from a journalist who posed as a businessman. Incidentally, the IPS officer was seen receiving the cash on behalf of Mukul Roy, the Trinamool heavyweight who joined the BJP last year.

Read: Rose Valley chit fund scam: ED attaches assets worth Rs 293 crore

During his visit, Asthana talked to 30 officers in two phases. While adding priority to the Narada probe, he directed the officers to file chargesheets in the Rose Valley and Saradha scams at the earliest. He also directed Ranjit Kumar, the officer handling the Narada probe, to send regular updates to Delhi.

First Published: Jun 23, 2018 15:19 IST