Fight for nerves, Kolkata top runner Rajeev Kumar who has to be interrogated again today
SHILLONG: The mind game between CBI and Kolkata Police continued on
Sunday with the CBI summoning Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar to
appear before it in its Shillong office again on Monday, even after
a gruelling weekend of questioning. Kumar himself had requested CBI
officers to complete the questioning even if it necessitated him
staying back overnight at the CBI office. The central agency,
however, is still non-committal on when the interrogation process
will be over.
The apex court’s Tuesday order had mentioned that Kumar must appear on date or dates on which he is summoned by CBI to Shillong. The interrogation began on Saturday. Kumar is accompanied by two senior Kolkata Police officers — additional police commissioner (I) Jawed Shamim and DCP (STF) Muralidhar Sharma. A detachment of STF officers is also in Shillong, keeping watch on the developments. KP is also being assisted by the Mizoram advocate-general Biswajit Deb.
During the course of interrogation, CBI sources reportedly suggested that Kumar was not co-operating. Though senior CBI officers refused to confirm these reports, Kolkata Police said it was precisely for this reason that Kumar had insisted that the interrogation sessions be video-recorded. A senior CBI official from Delhi, however, said the interrogation was not being video-taped.
Kolkata Police sources indicated that some of the questions Kumar was asked didn’t fall under his purview. “For example, he is being asked to respond to policy-level decisions on the formation of the special investigation team (SIT). The SIT was formed by the state government and Kumar was only the police commissioner in Bidhannagar,” a source said.
Another factor which has left the Kolkata Police perturbed is the lack of senior officers in the CBI team. Headed by SP-ranked and deputy SP-ranked officers, any request by Kumar, who is an additional director general of police by rank, has to be relayed to senior CBI officers in Kolkata and Delhi before a response is communicated. “The CP has been faithfully co-operating with the CBI officers,” a source said.
On Sunday, the CBI indicated that they wanted to quiz Kumar on the Rose Valley scam along with Saradha. CBI had cited the suppression of an FIR in Durgapur regarding Rose Valley among its charges against Kumar on non-cooperation in its Supreme Court affidavit. Kolkata Police said Kumar, as the Bidhannagar police commissioner, was not supposed to know about the Durgapur FIR in the first place.
A CBI officer said: “We need to analyze the statements of Kumar. If there are discrepancies between his statements and those of others, we might have to call him again. We will also analyze if he skirted questions. We can’t be satisfied unless we get all our answers.”
As the battle of nerves continued, Kumar himself volunteered to stay back well in to the night on Saturday itself. “The CBI did not agree,” claimed a source, adding that Kumar had even wanted to skip lunch on Saturday, hoping to complete the questioning. Instead, he was asked to return to the CBI office. On Sunday, however, he, went back to his hotel for lunch.