Congress, CPI-M demand CBI probe in SJDA scam

Siliguri, Dec 2 : Accusing the West Bengal's Trinamool Congress government of trying to suppress the financial irregularities in the Siliguri-Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA), the Congress and the CPI-M Monday demanded a CBI probe in the matter.

Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Asok Bhattacharya said the party will be filing a public interest litigation before the Calcutta High Court demanding a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Congress leaders and union ministers Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury said probe by the central agency was imperative to foil the state government's bid to shield those involved in the scam.

"The fact that accused (former SJDA CEO) G Kiran Kumar has been released on bail reflects the state government's intention of shielding the scamsters," said Minister of State for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, emphasizing the need for a CBI probe.

Kiran Kumar, a prime accused in the multi-crore scam, was granted bail Sunday a day after he was arrested.

Incidentally, Siliguri Police Commissioner K. Jayaraman, who had ordered the arrest, was immediately shunted out by the Mamata Banerjee government who said the police officer took the action without informing and seeking permission of the government.

During his tenure as the CEO of the SJDA from September 2011 to March 2013, Kiran Kumar, now district magistrate of Malda, allegedly siphoned off Rs.80 crore and is a prime accused in the scam involving Rs.200 crore.

Rubbishing the opposition's allegations, North Bengal Development Minister Gautam Deb assured the investigation is progressing in the right direction.

"Investigation is on and all the facts regarding irregularities in the SJDA would be revealed at an appropriate time. The opposition may make its demand but the issue doesn't warrant a CBI probe," he said.

Both the Congress and the CPI-M led Left Front hit the streets during the day demanding arrests of all those involved in the scandal.

Meanwhile, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Jalpaiguri) Jawed Shamim, who replaced Jayaraman as the Siliguri CP, held a meeting with his officers investigating the scam.

--IANS (Posted on 02-12-2013)

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