Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 16 January 2021 5.13 PM IST

Does police which blocked ED from entering Bineesh’s home have forgot Bengal experience?


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Alleging to destroy the state government in Bengal using central probe agencies, chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s police force arrested the 40 member team of CBI officials in Kolkata and in retaliation when the CRPF personnel entered the state on centre’s order it became a storming controversy. Blocking ED officials from entering Bineesh’s home using police force and imposing assault charges on ED officials under the garb of child rights panel has triggered criticisms from various corners as imitating the ‘Bengal model.’

Enforcement directorate which has the power to raid anywhere and to confiscate related documents and seize money should be given security by the state police forces concerned, under the central law but in Kerala instead of protecting the ED officials, Kerala police have obstructed the agency from discharging its duty. On February 2019, The 40 member CBI team which reached Kolkata to quiz city police commissioner Rajeev Kumar was illegally blocked and arrested by Mamata Banerjee’s government. The Bengal police which stood outside the Commissioner’s residence blocked the CBI officials from entering his residence and they were forcefully taken into custody by state police and their cell phones were confiscated.

Bengal police also encircled the office of CBI’s eastern wing in Kolkata, headed by joint director Pankaj Srivastava. When centre realised that the state police would arrest the joint director of the agency it gave orders to mobilise CRPF forces around the CBI office. Thus the centre-state fight in Bengal created a unique instance of a constitutional crisis in the state. Mamata Banerjee rushed to the residence of the police commissioner and organised a sit-in Dharna in front of commissioner’s residence alleging that centre is trying to sabotage state government.

As CBI cannot function in Kerala without taking prior approval from the state government, the same is its condition in Bengal. The Bengal government has withdrawn the government’s nod for CBI on 2018 November 16. CBI which functions under Delhi Special Police Establishment Act requires the state government’s nod before stating investigation on cases concerned registered under different states. But CBI replied to the Bengal government that they are conducting investigation on Saradha chit fund case on the direction of Supreme Court. Mamata’s political drama didn’t produce any result. At last, city police commissioner Rajeev Kumar, who was the chief of special probe team which investigated Saradha and Rose Valley scams appeared in person before the CBI office for questioning.

The government and party didn’t have any other way to hinder the ED probe. The current agitation was over the allegation that Bineesh’s two-year-old daughter was put under house arrest for 26 hours. The child rights panel, which had a regrettable silence, when serious cases of sexual assault on children were registered in the state before, came to the site immediately. The panel even threatened the central agency citing its judicial powers but ED didn’t respond to it.

When the panel’s strategy failed, the next thing they did was creating police blockade. A circle inspector who stands way below the high ranking ED officials lashed out at them and asked them to leave the premises after recording testimony. Without realising the gravity of the issue, Poojapura SI and his gang blocked ED’s car. Events even unfolded to a level when an open fight could have erupted between state police and central CRPF personnel. At last when ED officials gave the last warning that superior officials will intervene, the state police was forced to remove the blockade.

According to section 54 of the prevention of money laundering act 2002, ED should be given assistance by state, central police officials and also by the registrars and sub registrars of state government. The extraordinary measure comes after the state police blocked them who are liable to facilitate their duty.

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