“I am extremely pained. Let people know the truth,” said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee while hitting out at the BJP-led Central Government during former Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Tapas Paul’s funeral at Rabindra Sadan in Kolkata.
“Three people died due to this pressure by Central Government agencies. These include Sultan Ahmed, Prasun Banerjee’s wife and now Tapas Paul. If someone violates a law, he must face action. But these people are harassed day after day,” added Mamata.
“Tapas Paul was in jail for 1 year, 1 month. He was part of an entertainment channel. But what crime did he commit? This was not the time and age for Tapas Paul to die. He died of pressure,” said Mamata while referring to Tapas Paul being arrested by the CBI in December 2016 in connection with the Rose Valley chit fund scam and later released on bail. Paul died of a heart attack in a Mumbai hospital on Tuesday at the age of 61.
In her allegations, Mamata referred to the Late TMC MP Sultan Ahmed who passed away at the age of 64 in September 2017 and TMC MP Prasun Banerjee’s wife who passed away before that. Both MPs were accused in the Narada sting operation in 2016 where people resembling TMC leaders were seen accepting bribes. The video was released days before the 2016 Assembly elections in West Bengal.
At Paul’s funeral, the TMC supremo went on to talk about her other close aides like producer and founder of Sree Venkatesh Films Srikant Mohta, who was arrested in January 2019 in connection with the Rose Valley chit fund scam. “Even Srikant Mohta has been in jail since 1 year and 1 month. In murder cases, a chargesheet has to be submitted. But in such cases, chargesheets aren’t supposed to be submitted. Even Srikant has suffered a stroke,” said Mamata while continuing her accusations against the BJP at the Centre.
She went on to add that people are being jailed but agencies have not been able to prove their involvement or conclude what crime they have committed.
Ahead of the 2021 Assembly elections, Mamata is trying to garner support and show that the BJP as a party is using their power to put pressure on the TMC using central investigating agencies as a weapon.
BJP’s Sishir Bajoria hit out at Mamata for her allegations. “The funeral has not even taken place and Mamata is talking like this, accusing us. It has been 3 years since he got bail. The party people should have thought before siphoning off chit fund money. The investigating agencies will do their work,” said BJP leader Sishir Bajoria.