Kolkata: A CBI team examined Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee’s wife Rujira Tuesday in connection with the coal pilferage case, officials said. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the residence of her nephew Abhishek in south Kolkata’s Harish Mukherjee Road minutes before the CBI team landed there. The CBI team reached Abhishek Banerjee’s residence just before noon and the examination went on for little more than an hour, sources said. The CBI team left around 1.15 pm amid a heavy police presence.
The visit to Abhishek’s residence by CBI officials comes after Rujira told the central agency that she will be available for examination between 11.00 am and 3.00pm February 23. She was replying to a notice that the sleuths had hand-delivered her Sunday.
The agency sought the examination of Rujira to ascertain the details of her bank transactions. They are suspecting a connection to the proceeds of the illegal coal excavation money, sources said. Earlier Monday, the CBI had grilled Rujira’s sister Menaka Gambhir in connection with the same case.
Two woman officers of the CBI visited Gambhir’s residence here and examined her for nearly three hours.
The developments come months ahead of the Assembly elections in West Bengal. The Trinamool Congress has alleged it to be a political vendetta.
The CBI had carried out November 28 last year a massive search operation in a number of locations across West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. They did so after registering a case against one Anup Majhi alias Lala.
It is alleged that Lala is the alleged kingpin of the scam. He is involved in illegal mining and theft of coal from leasehold mines of ECL in Kunustoria and Kajora areas, sources said. CBI however, is yet to find Lala who has been absconding since November.
Sources however, stated that the CBI sleuths also grilled Rujira on her citizenship status. Incidentally, Rujira is citizen of Thailand and has applied for OCI and Pan cards. CBI officials questioned her as to why her father’s name has been mentioned differently in the two applications.