By Express News Service
KOLKATA: Citing Covid pandemic, TMC leader and CM Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee’s wife Rujira Naroola Banerjee refused to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED)’s New Delhi office on Wednesday in connecting with a coal smuggling and money laundering case.
In a letter written to ED’s assistant director Sumat Prakash Jain, Rujira said, “I am a mother of two infants, and travelling to New Delhi physically in the midst of the pandemic will put my and the lives of my children at grave risk.”
ED served the summon asking Rujira to turn up at the agency’s Delhi office on September 1. In connection with the same case, Abhishek was asked to appear in its Delhi office on September 3. Two other IPS officers, Gyanwant Singh (additional director general, CID) and Shyam Singh (deputy inspector general of police, Midnapore range) were also been asked to report to the agency’s office on September 9 and September 8 respectively.
Assuring cooperation, Rujira requested the central agency to follow the probe procedure at her Kolkata residence as the ED has its office in the state capital. “It would be convenient to me if you consider asking me to appear before you in Kolkata as and I reside in that city. Besides, as per my understanding, the alleged cause of action of the subject matter of your inquiry too arises out of Bengal,” she wrote.
The day the central agency served the summon, West Benegal CM had lambasted the BJP-led Centre accusing it to utilise the central agency vindictively. “They failed to fight with the TMC politically and now using CBI and ED against Abhishek. If I want, I can send bagful of evidence showing how BJP leaders looted Bengal’s coal region,” she had said while addressing on the occasion of the foundation day of TMC’s student-wing virtually on August 28.
The CBI, in February, had questioned Rujira in connection with the coal scam case at her south Kolkata residence. Abhishek’s sister-in-law Maneka Gambhir had also been questioned by the CBI.