Kolkata, April 13 : Tightening its noose around the alleged kingpin of the illegal coal pilferage scam Anup Majhi a.k.a Lala, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday is again questioning him and the Superintendent of Police (SP) Koteswara Rao in connection with the case.
A CBI official related to probe told IANS, “We are questioning Majhi and Rao separately at our office here.”
The CBI is questioning Majhi for the seventh time in connection with the case, while Rao has been called for the first time to record his statement.
On April 5, the Enforcement Directorate, which is probing the money laundering part, attached Majhi’s immovable assets to the tune of Rs 165.86 crore.
They include land, factory premises, plant machinery and other assets of two companies — Ispat Damodar Private Ltd and Sonic Thermal Private Ltd.
The manufacturing plants of both these companies are situated in West Bengal’s Purulia and Bankura.
Majhi, the Director of a company engaged in the purchase and sale of dry fuel, is accused of alleged illegal coal trading in the Asansol-Raniganj belt of West Bengal.
The CBI had registered a case involving alleged illegal coal pilferage in November last year, naming Majhi, Eastern Coalfield Ltd General Managers Amit Kumar Dhar and Jayesh Chandra Rai, ECL chief of security Tan Das, area security inspector Kunustoria Dhananjay Rai, and SSI and security in-charge Kajora area Debashish Mukherjee.
It had also recorded the statement of Rujira Banerjee, wife of Trinamool Congress MP and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee and his sister-in-law Menka Gambhir in the last week of February.
The agency has recently carried out searches at several locations in the state, including at the premises of Amit Agarwal, a close aide of Majhi, raising the heat in poll-bound West Bengal, where the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP are engaged in a pitched battle.