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Fri, 21 Feb 2020

Northeast Today

P Chidambaram Arrest in INX Media Case: Process is incorrect, says Mamata Banerjee

P Chidambaram Arrest in INX Media Case: Process is incorrect, says Mamata Banerjee
August 22
16:48 2019

NET Bureau

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday joined DMK chief MK Stalin in extending her support to P Chidambaram and criticizing the way the former Union minister was arrested late on Wednesday.

Mamata Banerjee and MK Stalin both questioned the manner in which the 73-year-old Congress leader was arrested by officers of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a money laundering case related to INX Media. The senior Congress leader was taken to CBI headquarters after the agency’s officials scaled the boundary walls of his residence in New Delhi’s Jor Bagh area on Wednesday night to arrest him.
‘Sometimes the process is incorrect. I am not talking about the legality. Chidambaram is a senior politician and former finance and home minister of this country. The way his matter has been handled is very depressing. That is very sad and bad too,’ said Mamata Banerjee.

‘We are missing democracy in our country,’ she added.

‘I too saw how CBI jumped the wall and arrested him. It’s a matter of shame for India. It is a political vendetta. Chidambaram had asked for anticipatory bail but he was arrested, it’s condemnable,’ MK Stalin said in Chennai, according to news agency Press Trust of India.

On Wednesday, the DMK chief had similarly accused the BJP-led central government of pursuing a political vendetta.

‘As regards this issue, I have clearly learnt that these (actions) are happening due to political vendetta,’ Stalin, whose party has an alliance with Congress in Tamil Nadu, had said while speaking to reporters at the DMK headquarters ‘Anna Arivalayam’.

The Congress has defended Chidambaram with Rahul Gandhi accusing the government of using probe agencies and the media to ‘character assassinate’ the former finance minister.

On Thursday, the Congress continued to rally around its veteran leader and accused the government of using the two federal agencies – Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate – as ‘personal revenge-seeking departments for parity in power’.

‘The vindictive, selective and malicious manner in which former finance minister and home minister Shri P Chidambaram has been persecuted and prosecuted is nothing short of a brazen personal and political vendetta,’ Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said at a media briefing at the party headquarters.

The Congress has gone on the offensive over the senior politician’s arrest on the basis of what the opposition party described as the testimony of a woman accused of killing her daughter. It was a reference to INX Media co-founder Indrani Mukerjea who told the CBI last year that a deal of $1 million was struck between Karti Chidambaram, P Chidambaram’s son, and the Mukerjeas for getting approvals for foreign funding.

The INX Media case relates to alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to the media group for receiving foreign investment to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007, when Chidambaram was finance minister.

The CBI registered a first information report on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the manner the clearance had been awarded and the ED filed a money laundering case a year later.

INX Media co-founders Peter Mukerjea and his wife Indrani Mukerjea have been charged with entering into a criminal conspiracy with Karti Chidambaram to get foreign investment approvals and evade punitive measures for not having the necessary approvals from FIPB.

Source: Hindustan Times


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