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CBI Summons Family Members of Abhishek Banerjee's Sister-in-law in Coal Scam

File photo of Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee.

File photo of Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee.

The two Gambhir's father-in-law Pawan Arora and her husband Ankush Arora have been asked to appear before the CBI on March 15, they said.

The CBI on Friday issued summons to two family members of TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee’s sister-in-law Menaka Gambhir in connection with the multi-crore rupees coal pilferage scam being investigated by the central probe agency, sources in it said. The two – Gambhir’s father-in-law Pawan Arora and her husband Ankush Arora have been asked to appear before the CBI on March 15, they said.

The probe agency has already interrogated Banerjee’s wife Rujira and Gambhir at their respective residences in the city in the last week of February for their alleged involvement in the scam. Banerjee is the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

According to the sources, Gambhir had told the CBI sleuths during interrogation that she as not aware of anything and that her husband and father-in-law were in the know of what was happening. The agency has been on the look out for the scam kingpin Anup Majhi, alias Lala, who has been been absconding.

A lookout circular had also been issued against him. CBI had also raided several premises of Majhi in the city and in the coal bearing belt of Asansol and Ranigunj in the state.

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The investigation agency is of the view that the coal scam arising out of illegal mining from abandoned mines of Eastern Coalfields, runs into thousands of crores of Rupees and part of the crime proceeds had been transacted through the hawala route for which the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has also joined the probe. On Nov 28, 2020, CBI had conducted raids at 45 different places, including in West Bengal in connection with the coal pilferage scam.

The state is set to witness an eight-phase Assembly election starting March 27. The BJP, which has emerged as the main opposition, is campaigning vigorously to oust the ruling Trinamool Congress which had secured consecutive electoral wins in 2011 and 2016 under Mamata Banerjee. Abhishek Banerjee, the TMC Lok Sabha MP from Diamond Harbour, weilds considerable influence in the party and has been leading the TMC’s counter-attack in the run-up to the Assembly polls.

first published:March 12, 2021, 18:35 IST