Mamata slams BJP govt over Tapas Paul’s death

Kolkata: Holding the BJP government at the centre responsible for actor-politician Tapas Paul’s death, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday alleged that three persons including a Trinamool MP and wife of another Lok Sabha MP have died in recent years unable to withstand the pressure of the central agencies.

“In 2017, Trinamool MP Sultan Ahmed died. His family told me he received a letter and phone, went to the bathroom, and died. Arjuna awardee footballer Prasun Banerjee’s wife also died, unable to bear the sufferings,” Banerjee said while delivering her speech at the Rabindra Sadan cultural complex here, where Paul’s body was kept for public viewing.

“And now, it is Tapas. … His death has again shown how his life had become terrible due to pressure mounted by central agencies. He had become a mental and psychological wreck.

“He didn’t know till death what was his crime. A number uno film star like Tapas was kept in prison for 13 months. His crime was he was the director f an entertainment channel. He used to get a salary for that. But for that he was imprisoned,” said Banerjee.

Lashing out at the centre’s BJP-led dispensation, Banerjee said its behaviour was akin to apolitical vengeance.

“This sort of behaviour is akin to political vengeance. Nobody is able to escape the vengeful plans of the centre, she added.

A number of Trinamool leaders have been interrogated or arrested in connection with the multi billion rupee ponzi scam and the Narada sting footage scandal by the CBI and other central agencies, which took over the cases following court orders.

Pal was also arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on December 30, 2016, in connection with his association with the Rose Valley group, one of the companies under investigation in the ponzi scam. He got bail after spending 13 months in prison in Bhubaneswar.

Ahmed and Prasun Banerjee were questioned by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate multiple times in the Narada sting case.

They were among a dozen Trinamool leaders allegedly caught on video tape while receiving money in exchange for a promise to dole out favours to a fictitious company. The clipping was uploaded on the Narada news portal in March, 2016.

The ponzi scam came to light in 2013, when the Saradha Group companies closed down one after another, unable to return the deposits of investors, who had been lured with the promise of interest at rates much higher than those prevailing in the market.

A number of companies were later brought under the ambit of the probe, which the Supreme Court handed over to the CBI in 2014.

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