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On Tuesday, the CBI team visited the Trinamool Congress residence of MP Abhishek Banerjee to investigate his wife Rujira in the coal pilferage case. In connection with the investigation, the team questioned Banerjee’s sister-in-law, Menaka Gambhir, on Monday.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited his nephew’s residence to meet them before the CBI investigated Rujira.

Rujira, against whom the summons had also been given, had informed the CBI on Monday that between 11 am and 3 pm Tuesday she would be available at her residence. “Though I am unaware of the reason for me being called for questioning or the subject matter of the investigation, you may visit my residence, as per your convenience, between 11 pm and 3pm tomorrow, i.e. 23rd February, 2021.”

A CBI team, including two female officials, spent about three hours in the suburbs of Kolkata at Gambhir’s home. Sources said she was asked about certain bank accounts and transactions linked to them. The CBI did not provide an official statement.

Banerjee has been the subject of attacks by the BJP in its electoral campaign for the Assembly.

On November 27, 2020, under IPC Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 409 (criminal breach of confidence by a public servant) as well as under the Prevention of Corruption Act, the case of suspected illegal coal mining and pilferage from the Kunustoria and Kajoria coal fields of Eastern Coalfield Limited (ECL) was filed by the CBI.

In connection with the investigation, the CBI has conducted many raids and visited coal mines. Several senior ECL officials, unknown CISF officials, railway and other government agencies, and other unknown individuals are identified in the FIR.

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The Trinamool called the allegations a political vendetta case, saying “the CBI is its only ally (the BJP’s) now”. A leader of a group who did not want to be called said, “Such things will be dealt legally. Even in the past we have won facing all this. Our party cannot be threatened using the Enforcement Directorate and CBI. With such actions, people are losing faith in the investigating agencies, that’s all.”

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