Coal mining scam: CBI team questions Mamata Banerjee’s nephew’s wife at Kolkata home

A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team on Tuesday questioned Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee‘s wife Rujira Banerjee for an hour at their home in Kolkata in the alleged illegal coal mining scam.

Ahead of the CBI team’s arrival, West Bengal chief mister Mamata Banerjee had paid a visit to her nephew Abhishek’s home at Harish Mukherjee Road in Kolkata. The TMC supremo was at Abhishek’s house for around ten minutes.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee arrives at nephew and TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee’s residenceAb

On Monday, Rujira Banerjee Naroola responding to the CBI summons had told the agency that their officers can come to her South Kolkata home on February 23 between 11 am and 3 pm. She said that she was unaware of why the agency wanted to question her.

The CBI on Tuesday reached Abhishek’s residence just before noon and the examination went on for around an hour, sources said. The team left around 1.15 pm amid a heavy police presence.
The agency sought the examination of Rujira Banerjee to ascertain the details of her bank transactions, suspecting a connection to the proceeds of the illegal coal excavation money, sources said.

The CBI on Sunday served Rujira and her sister, Menaka Gambhir, summons to question them in the coal pilferage case.

On Monday, CBI examined Gambhir at her home in the Panchasayar complex, Kolkata, where she spoke to the CBI officers on her own for nearly three hours.

CBI officers have unofficially said they wanted to question Gambhir on whether she was aware of a businessman now based in the UAE. This businessman, the agency suspects, has received a portion of the money from the coal mining scam.

The developments come months ahead of the assembly elections in the state with Trinamool Congress alleging it to be a political vendetta.

West Bengal Coal mining scam
The agency had registered an FIR last November, mentioning six persons: prime suspect Anup Maji alias Lala and five officials of a nationalised mining company.

Several other officials of a coal company, the CISF, the Railways and other departments were under suspicion, the CBI has said.
On November 28, 2020, CBI carried out a massive search operation in a number of locations across four states — West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.

Raids were conducted, including at the home of Yuva Trinamool leader Vinay Mishra, over the next few months.

It is alleged that Anup Maji alias Lala, the alleged kingpin of the scam, is involved in illegal mining and theft of coal from leasehold mines of ECL in Kunustoria and Kajora areas, sources said.

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