CPI-M seeks court monitored probe in Kolkata airport row

The CPI-M’s West Bengal state secretariat member Sujan Chakraborty, who was served a legal notice by Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee’s wife Rujira for making “false and defamatory” statements about her in the Kolkata airport fracas, threw a challenge to the Trinamool by seeking a court monitored inquiry into the matter.

In a lengthy presser on Sunday, Banerjee, the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, termed all the allegations against his wife as baseless.

In response, Chakraborty told reporters that he was “ready to take up the challenge”.

“Let him move the court. I have no scope to withdraw (my comment) and I stand by it. Let there be a court monitored inquiry,” he said.

The row erupted after reports surfaced that 2 kg gold was allegedly seized by the Customs Department from Rujira when she arrived at the Kolkata airport from Bangkok on the intervening night of March 15 and 16.

Chakraborty also said the “friendship between Didibhai-Modibhai” (Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narandra Modi) is “getting clear” with such incidents.

“Who sent a lady (police) officer to an area in the airport which falls under the jurisdiction of the Customs? Why is an FIR being filed in the incident? Why was a meeting convened between the Customs and the police officials? Thousands of people travel, but they don’t require such arrangements,” he said.

The legal notice, served on Chakraborty by Banerjee’s lawyer, read: “On March 22, 2019, our client was made aware of a Twitter post published and circulated by you in your twitter handle wherein you have made inter alia false and defamatory statements and insinuations against our clint with the intent to defame our client and to sensationalise, politicise and inflate fake news which was attempted to defame our client.”

Chakraborty had wrote his Twitter handle: “She was caught red-handed by Customs at #CalcuttaAirport, but managed it by the top brass in Central & state administration! #ModibhaiDidibhai? No record or log kept? Whose inspiration? Gift to the nephew family @Mamataofficial? Court monitored proper enquiry only can unearth!”

“Our client denies all the allegations and imputations made by you and you are put to strict proof thereof”, said the notice.

Meanwhile, Left Front nominated candidate from the Jadavpur Lok Sabha constituency and former Kolkata Mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya said: “There should be an independent investigation to find out why did the police intervene in the incident and for what reasons they accused the Customs officials of demanding money from her as bribe?”

“We want the Supreme Court to form a team which will investigate the case. The incident threatens to destroy the structure of the Constitution,” he added.


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