CBI raids homes of young TMC leader in Kolkata in smuggling coal case; BJP targets Abhishek Banerjee E! News UK

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided three residences of the businessman and youth, Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Vinay Mishra, and businessmen Amit Singh and Niraj Singh, siblings, in connection with the ongoing investigation into the smuggling coal case.

None of the suspects were at home during the raids. Notifications were served, asking Mishra and the others to report for questioning at the CBI office in Kolkata on January 4.

Illegally mined coal, worth several thousand crore rupees, is alleged to have been sold on the black market for several years by a racketeer operating in the western parts of West Bengal where the Eastern Coalfields Limited operates several mines .

In early December, the CBI also raided the home and office of Ganesh Bagaria, a chartered accountant based in Calcutta.

Since the investigation began in September, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has alleged that the sales money has been whitewashed by front companies and siphoned from ruling party funds. The BJP also alleged that the primary beneficiary is Abhishek Banerjee, a member of Lok Sabha and nephew of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Abhishek Banerjee is also the chairman of the youth wing of TMC. On July 20, he appointed 15 general secretaries, including Mishra.

Accompanied by central police personnel, CBI teams on Thursday simultaneously attacked three apartments Mishra owns in Chetla and Rashbehari in southern Kolkata and Lake Town in eastern Kolkata. The South Kolkata residences of Mishra are located not far from the houses of Mamata and Abhishek Banerjee.

CBI officials declined to comment on the outcome of the raids and the progress of the investigation. An official said on condition of anonymity that several laptop computers, password protected, and documents were seized from Mishra’s residences.

Anup Majhi alias Lala, the main suspect in this case, is on the run and a lookout has already been issued by the investigative agency. In November, the CBI attacked 36 offices allegedly run by Majhi and also carried out an investigation at the ECL headquarters in Asansol.

On Thursday, CBI teams also searched the residences of Amit Singh and Niraj Singh in Konnagar in the Hooghly district. Mishra and the Singh siblings are also under cover over allegations of their possible involvement in cow smuggling to Bangladesh which the CBI has been investigating since 2018. Two commanders of the Border Security Force (BSF) have so far been arrested in this case and several others are being scanned alongside state police and customs officials.

BJP leadership took beatings at TMC after Thursday’s raids.

“This is the true image of the team members under the ‘capable’ leadership of the Nephew. What a great team he has created to take @AITCofficial to a “different” level. #TolabaazBhaipoHatao! Tweeted Suvendu Adhikari, the former transport minister who joined the BJP on December 19.

In the tweet, Adhikari called Abhishek Banerjee a bhaipo (nephew in Bengali) and called him a tolabaaz (extortionist).

Since leaving the TMC, Adhikari and the young TMC president have been targeting each other in public.

BJP State President Dilip Ghosh also took shots at Abhishek Banerjee and the Chief Minister during a rally in Dankuni in the Hooghly district. “All the ill-gotten money went to Kalighat (where the chief minister lives),” Ghosh said.

The TMC dismissed the allegations.

“Mishra is not a major leader in TMC. The raids will not make any difference to the party, ”said Saugata Roy, TMC member Lok Sabha and party spokesperson.

Stepping up pressure on the ruling party, CPIM leaders) and legislative parties from Congress to the state assembly demanded that the government convene an extraordinary session and prove its majority. “People are confused. They don’t know how many MPs the TMC has, ”said Sujan Chakraborty, CPI (M) legislator.

“I don’t know why Congress and CPI (M) are making this strange request or how long their alliance will last,” joked Deputy Parliamentary Affairs Minister Tapas Roy.

Suvendu Adhikari’s father and older brother represent two constituencies from Lok Sabha to East Midnapore. His younger brother Soumendu, who headed the civic body in Contai, their hometown, was removed from his post by the government on Sunday shortly after he said at a BJP rally that his family would join the Saffron party very soon.

Soumendu Adhikari moved the Calcutta District Court against the order on Thursday afternoon. The case will be considered on January 4. There was chaos within the civic body when Siddhartha Maity, the newly appointed head of the civic body, took office.

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