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Defiant Mamata Banerjee challenges Centre, Kolkata Police-CBI face off

Earlier in the day, a team of CBI officers was stopped from entering Rajeev Kumar's residence.

Defiant Mamata Banerjee challenges Centre, Kolkata Police-CBI face off

New Delhi: Challenging the Centre, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday launched 'Save the Constitution' dharna after a team of CBI officers reached the residence of Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar. The officials, who had gone to question Kumar in connection with chit fund scam cases, were, however, denied entry and later detained.

Calling the CBI's move a 'coup' by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah on the state, Mamata said that she has launched the dharna to save the federal structure of her government.

CBI Interim Director M Nageshwar Rao has, meanwhile, said that the investigating agency will approach the Supreme Court on Monday over the non-cooperation of West Bengal Police who detained the team of CBI officers. "Tomorrow the CBI will approach the Supreme Court on the matter as the West Bengal police is not cooperating," Rao said.

While the CBI claimed of having relevant documents with them, TMC, on the other hand, said that the investigating agency did not have a search warrant.

"We are investigating these chit fund cases as per the directions of the SC. A SIT has been constituted by the West Bengal government prior to SC's direction under the chairmanship of Rajeev Kumar, who is currently the Kolkata police commissioner," Nageshwar Rao had earlier said.

The CBI interim chief had further added, "They have taken charge of all the evidence, seized all the documents. They have not been cooperating with us in handing over all the documents and a lot of evidence has been destroyed or caused to disappear."

Earlier in the day, a team of CBI officers was stopped from entering Rajeev Kumar's residence. A virtual showdown ensued as Kolkata Police personnel forcefully took away some of the CBI officers to a nearby police station and detained them amid the commotion.

Ever since the TMC supremo announced the dharna, party workers have been protesting across the state. While some are burning effigy of the Prime Minister, others are staging 'rail roko protest' over the ongoing issue.