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JD(U) vows to support Mamata

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KOLKATA: Fresh from its stunning success in the Bihar assembly polls, the JD(U) on Monday said it would return the compliment by supporting Mamata Banerjee in her fight against BJP.

Along with AAP and Trinamool Congress, it vowed to fight to strengthen cooperative federalism. The same day at a meeting with industrialists, Mamata indicated at the need to carve out a non-Congress, non-BJP federal formation.

JD(U) secretary general K C Tyagi said Mamata congratulated Bihar CM Nitish Kumar over phone.

“The JD(U), TMC and AAP are on the same page on various issues. We all feel the need to strengthen cooperative federalism. We will also raise the issue of the role of Centre-appointed governors. We will work in close coordination in our fight against BJP,” Tyagi said, adding the JD(U) would support the Trinamool and Mamata in Bengal polls.

Asked why it would not support the Left in Bengal, Tyagi said, “The Left didn’t support us in our fight against the BJP. They don’t need our support.”

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Source: TOI-Kol

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CBI pins hopes on witnesses’ statements

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On August 6, CBI had in a sealed cover handed over to the Calcutta high court the status of probe against Madan Mitra in Ponzi cases other than Saradha where he was involved. It is this they want to harp on when the Mitra’s bail cancellation plea comes up before the same HC bench on November 17.

Mitra, who is now out from a private hospital might find it difficult during house arrest as Central agencies have planned to interrogate him in non-Saradha cases. The agencies are also dissecting deposition of more than 14 witnesses who gave crucial links of Mitra with the Ponzi firms including Saradha, Rose Valley, Icore and ASSDA.

According to sources in CBI, the supplementary chargesheet in the Saradha muddle, likely to be filed by end Novemeber will detail his role in the ‘larger conspiracy’. Moreover, the agency might focus on his role when his bail petition comes for a hearing on November 17 at the Calcutta High Court. The agencies have so far taken deposition of more than14 persons in connection to Madan Mitra’s involvement in Saradha muddle. According to CBI sources, four agents and investors have claimed that they were convinced about Saradha’s credentials after they saw Mitra’s name on the display boards.

SN Das, a Malda based agent had lodged an FIR against the Saradha Group. In his statement Das has claimed that he gained confidence about the group after he saw Mitra’s name as president of Saradha Employees’ Progressive Union. Das, who claimed that several display boards were hung at the Midland Park office, was noticed by every agent and investor. “Mitra, who often visited the Midland Park office, must have noticed it. Despite that Saradha group continued to flaunt his association. It shows that the minister never objected to it” said a CBI official.

Another agent from Malda J Saha said that he had been present at the meeting at the Netaji Indoor Stadium. In its report Serious Fraud Investigation Office also claimed that Mitra had been found deliberating at the meeting in front of several investigators. But the investigating agencies have found deposition of Sudipta Sen’s driver Shambhu Shaw and receptionist R Lahiri’s statements to be most crucial while framing charges against him. In her statement Lahiri had told the investigators that Mitra was seen visiting the Midland Park office at late night. The statement was later corroborated by Sudipta’s cook Hemanta Pradhan. According to investigators, Saradha group’s peon Bimal Giri had also confirmed that the minister used to go to the Midland Park office and meet Sudipta.

Earlier in its chargesheet CBI had said that Mitra was provided car by the Ponzi boss before state assembly election in 2011. Sudipta’s driver Shambhu had claimed that Mitra’s fuel expenses before election were borne by the Saradha group. Investigators also came to know that Sudipta had given him cars taken from a travel agency.

The 564-page report of Serious Fraud Investigation Office in the Saradha case has also noted Mitra and a former police official’s name who had roles in ‘abetment in commission of offence’. In its note regarding role of Mitra and the police official, SFIO noted that it has got hold of a few pictures in which Mitra and the officer were seen as attending programmes organised by Saradha Group companies.

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Source: TOI-Kol

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Madan back home amid police presence

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KOLKATA: The Kali Puja pandal of Modern Sporting Club in Bhowanipore wears a forlorn look. While the decorators’ labourers sleep on the incomplete dais inside, the bamboo scaffoldings of the pandal are exposed at places and colourful lights are yet to be installed yet.

A look inside the pandal reveals the mystery behind the pall of gloom: An abandoned board, with the name of the organizers and office-bearers on it, mentions transport minister Madan Mitra as the chairman of the Puja. Though Mitra has returned home, merely 10 metres from the pandal, he won’t be allowed to visit there, as he has been put under house arrest by Calcutta high court. “How can we celebrate when our leader is not going to be part of the festivities?” said a club member.

After being discharged from Woodlands on Monday morning, the Sarada scam accused headed straight home, amid heavy police presence. Twenty-five personnel, under an inspector, have been deployed outside Mitra’s home to keep an eye on the VIP “prisoner”. By afternoon, only five officers remained stationed Mitra’s gate, while some sat opposite the building and others wandered to a tea stall. The court has directed that Mitra will stay at home under police surveillance and can step out only in case of medical emergency and for interrogations by government agencies. “He is a VIP so he won’t defy the court order. If I were him, I would be happy to stay at home. This is a relatively easy duty and we can relax a bit,” said a constable, sharing a packet of chips with a colleague.

But the court order discounts any possibility of Mitra taking part in the Kali Puja on Tuesday. “Since this puja is being held for 69 years, we could not do away with it. But the euphoria will be absent,” said the member.

Puja committee vice-president Swarup Bose seemed reluctant to speak, but neigbours said earlier years, Mitra would spend most of his time at the pandal. “He would chat with everybody,” said Anindita Mitra, a neighbour.

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Source: TOI-Kol

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