West Bengal vs Centre: Mamata Banerjee Holds Cabinet Meeting at Protest Site

A number of opposition leaders from across the country have expressed solidarity with the protest.

Kolkata: The top Trinamool Congress leadership and West Bengal cabinet ministers hit the streets of central Kolkata on Monday. Led by state chief minister Mamata Banerjee, the leaders are protesting against the Central Bureau of Investigations’s attempted questioning of city police commissioner Rajeev Kumar.

Rajya Sabha MP and Samajwadi Party leader Kiranmoy Nanda has been at the protest site since this morning.

Banerjee chaired a cabinet meeting at the protest site, as the West Bengal budget is scheduled to be tabled in the state assembly later today. Top cabinet minister and cabinet secretaries in the state government were present.

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A flex board mounted at the background of the protest stage reads, ‘Save the Constitution, Save the Federal Structure, Save the Police Force, Save the the Indian Administrative Service and all ranks of Civil Service from Disaster’.

Anti-Modi chants could be heard at the protest site: “Modi hatao, desh bachao“; “Chowkidar chor hain“.

TMC leaders on dharna.

Opposition leaders such as Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Samajwadi Party chief, and chief ministers of various states including H.D. Kumaraswamy, Kamal Nath and Arvind Kejriwal expressed solidarity with Trinamool Congress’s protest.

Raj Thackeray has also supported Banerjee and her protest. “We applaud and support the stand taken by Mamta Banerjee against the autocracy and tyranny of the Central government. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena firmly stands behind her and the fight against this tyranny,” he said.

Hearing on CBI plea in the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to give an urgent hearing to applications moved by the CBI alleging destruction of electronic evidence related to the Saradha chit fund scam case by the Kolkata police commissioner.

The top court will hear the probe agency’s applications on Tuesday.

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The applications accusing Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar of destroying evidence related to the case was mentioned by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta before a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjeev Khanna.

CJI Gogoi said, “If the Kolkata police commissioner even remotely thinks of destroying evidence, bring the material before this court. We will come down so heavily on him that he will regret.”

Mehta submitted before the Supreme Court, “Our (CBI’s) team was arrested and kept in custody. The Kolkata police commissioner should immediately surrender.”

Images by Himadri Gosh.

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