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Mamatha Vs CBI: Here’s what you need to know about the crisis in West Bengal

The high drama in West Bengal seems to only get complicated as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who began a sit-in protest over the CBI’s attempt to question the Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with chit fund scams on Sunday, continues today as she believes her “Save the Constitution” fight will bring them justice in exposing the high-handedness of the BJP government. 
 
Here's a summary of events:
  • The CBI wanted to interrogate Kolkata police chief as there was ‘evidence’ that he was instrumental in causing destruction of evidence in the chit fund scam, CBI’s interim chief M. Nageshwar Rao said on February 3rd, 2019, after a team of officers landed at Rajeev Kumar’s residence in Kolkata. 
  • However, things went awry when the West Bengal Police prevented the CBI from arresting its top cop and detained five officials of the central investigative agency, leading to high drama. The CBI then complained that the State Police is not cooperating with agency officials and has been harassing officials. 
  • The CBI continued to allege several court orders were sent to Kolkata Police Chief seeking the evidence in the Sharada Chit Fund case but then he did not cooperate. CBI Chief said that there is evidence against Rajeev Kumar who has been instrumental in causing destruction of evidence and obstructing justice.
  • This development eventually became a face-off between the Mamata Banerjee government and the Centre, adding a new dimension to the already bitter relations. The West Bengal Chief Minister alleged that the BJP Government is trying to destabilise the state government to impose President’s rule. 
  • Calling it a “Satyagraha,” Mamatha says “I’ll continue my protest till the country is saved. Modi has gone mad and he is trying to destroy democratic institutions in the country by misusing them.” 
  • The West Bengal Chief Minister also got support from AP CM N. Chandrababu Naidu, JD(S) Chief Deve Gowda, former Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamalnath, Omar Abdullah, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Congress party, Shiva Sena and other parties which have been part of the anti-BJP front.  
  • Following this protest and alleged harassment of CBI officials, the central investigative agency has filed a petition in the Supreme Court. Hearing the petition of the CBI, Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi said that “If Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar even remotely thinks of destroying evidence, bring the material before this Court. We will come down so heavily on him that he will regret.” 
  • The Supreme Court has asked the CBI to bring the material on record to support its claim that Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar is trying to destroy evidence in the chit fund scams.
  • Meanwhile, all the Opposition Parties’ leaders have signed a memorandum and have submitted it to the Election Commission of India.

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